Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Screaming Crow Records
Pittsburgh punks The Cheats have garnered the reputation for booze-soaked, fire-breathing, shit-slinging '77-style rock 'n' roll anthems.
"Pussyfootin," a record some two years in the making, offers a lot of the similar beer-chugging, foot-stomping punk of the past but adds dashes of Swedish-style rock 'n' roll by way of the Steel City. This record was worth the wait. "Make You Pay" opens things a little more melodic than effort's past and carries a gang-vocal chorus ala Bombshell Rocks or former Cleveland streetpunkers the GC5. Any Cleveland comparisons are typically tantamount to severe beatings at any number of Pittsburgh establishments, but calling The Cheats "Dead Boys on speed" is probably passable as long as you've got an Iron City in your hand and respect the holy altar of Jack Ham. Failing that, you better know the crucial differences between the Backyard Babies and The Vines and also know that The Cheats are the finest rock 'n' roll band outta Pittsburgh since the one Todd Cheat fronted before it, Silver Tongued Devil. In many ways, "Pussyfootin" is a lot more like STD than past Cheats records taking swigs from a lot of the same bottles -- Black Halos, Electric Frankenstein, Rocket From The Crypt, Gluecifer and Joan Jett. "Better Than The Rest," "Sober Days, Wasted Nights," "Pissin' It All Away" and "Star Tattoo" are among the best tracks the band has ever written. Essential punk 'n' roll from Pittsburgh rock legends fast separating themselves from the rest of the rock heap. 8.5/10 - B.J. Lisko