Imagine Siouxsie Sue on one of her very darkest days, accompanied not by an edgy New Wave band but by a sort of Goth /Industrial backing, slow fuzzy electronica and riffs under-pinned by pounding, almost tribal, programmed drums – and you have The Black Cheetahs!
Slow Doomed Fever as the album’s title perfectly encapsulates the band’s music – eight incisively slow and heavy songs weaved by thick layers of dirty bass synths and guitar walls complete this cathartic soundtrack, where elements of southern garage rock and doom are merged with dark ambient electronics. The band is a trio from Germany, comprising Sofia TK (guitars, vocals, drums programming), Jack Wendy (synths, piano, drums programming) and Christian Gjelstrup on bass. Sofia is also the producer of the album . By all accounts, the trio wrote/crafted this album in something of a frenzy after experiencing some of the harsher aspects of life’s journey, so the tracks explore topics of love and death – among outlaws, seekers and free spirits. Not that I could follow the lyrics much, Sofia growling and hissing animal-like sounds as much as “singing” – vocalising might be a better word. Sofia was previously in a punk band called FFT Error, and brings a hardcore legacy from that band along with the sentiment of an edgy, sometimes bluesy, soul.
This isn’t for everyone, but if you’re into industrial electronica it works well. For example, fans of Bauhaus will appreciate it, and maybe fans of Marlene Dietrich! The album is co-written by Sofia and Jack Wendy, but it also features two tribute tracks – Funnel Of Love by Wanda Jackson, and School by Nirvana.