LEADER CHEETAH - THE SUNSPOT LETTERS
From Adelaide's foothills to its inner city bars, Leader Cheetah tap the classic sounds of America's glorious rural rock heritage, whilst imbuing it with a vitality that is unmistakably
their own. Here is a group doing "the '70s sound" with more guts and more soaring melodic highs than most all that have come before them, a quartet who write strong, memorable songs, calling to mind the delicate melodic tapestries of The Band and CSN, all the while executing them with the barnstorming indie-rock might of contemporaries like Dinosaur Jr. This is soul music, earth songs that unfold like time-old tales, where riffs and harmonies and thundering drums surge like steam from the ground after a downpour. This is the sound of a band whose players are in tune with one another and with their surroundings, a band with the heart and legs to carry them deep into the innards of the holy beast of rock'n'roll.
The band flew in legendary US producer Kramer (Galaxie 500, Low, Robert Wyatt) – a man whose love for reverb and capturing "in the moment" performances saw him become an integral part of the Leader Cheetah sound – to record their debut album, spending the past six months fine-tuning by sending the songs back and forth between Adelaide and Florida.
The result is The Sunspot Letters, a mix of soulful upbeat rockers, slow-cooked jams, and smoky moonlight ballads, all tied together by the band's love of majestic vocal harmonies and rough-hewn, workmanlike arrangements. The album features MySpace favourite 'Bloodlines' and live staple 'Alibi', as well as the heart-rending duet with Tessa Rubinstein (Little Aida) on 'Rosewater Smile'. Like the lonesome whistle whine of an old locomotive, you can hear Leader Cheetah coming up on the horizon, stomping and hollering all the way, like the best bar bands before them. You need only hear them once to get swept up in their wake.
"...the love children of Neil Young and one or two of the Flying Burrito Brothers. That is to say they're completely exciting and the only Australian band we've heard to nail Americana..."