Screamin Cheetah Wheelies

energy, excellence and basic rock

The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies (Atlantic)
The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies

By Kevin Gibson

Aside from having a really cool name, The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies have quite a bit of potential.

This Nashville-based quintet plays back-to-basics, bluesy, Bob Seger-induced Southern rock with glowing acoustics and some '90s attitude. Their first major-label release offers many things, but above all offers consistent songwriting to go with the musical adeptness.

Bear in mind that consistent doesn't mean every song sounds the same instead, the Wheelies manage to attain the same high standard of excellence with each of the eleven tracks on the self-titled CD. Each song reaches its individual goal with the same propensity as the one before it.

"Somethin' Else," for instance, the third cut on the disc, is mostly straight-ahead blues, both musically and lyrically, and the band executes it superbly. That track leads into "This Is the Time," a silky, rock ballad about the perfect love.

Formulated, you say? Hardly. Check out "Ride the Tide" and you'll find the bold imagery to go with the emotion that this group puts into each effort.

Lead singer Mike Farris has a major hand in all but one track, while guitarist Bob Watkins takes credit for much of the work. All but three of the cuts are collaborative efforts, and one is an instrumental.

Don't be a fool. Heck, the name alone is worth 15 bucks buy this record.