Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Guitars, Guns and Gold

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2002 at 12:00 AM

With so many rock and garage bands swinging from Detroit’s nut-sack these days, the city itself should be receiving royalty payments. And while a decent number of these bands claim all things Detroit as their roots, their soulless claim to some sort of authenticity misses the point of what really made Motor City’s musical bang and clang so damn worthy.

Inventiveness and sincerity are notions that appear to be lost on California’s Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs — if you think about it, the name says it all, really. On this release, a “rarities” comp (sure to be in high demand ...), the Cheetah’s reveal confusion, one that confirms the theory that it’s simply too chickenshit to pick a direction (covers of both X’s “Los Angeles,” and Iron “fuckin’” Maidien’s “Sanctuary” are included here). The band stands at the metal-punk crossroads unsure of which route to follow. Will it take the path to the heart and self-awareness and inner-discovery? Or will Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs navigate the road that it thinks will lead to the most cash, fame and ego gratification?

Guns, Guitars and Gold is a testicle-fueled, unintentionally ironic burp of motor-rawk for the unattuned. Running low in the sensitivity and soul departments, the testosterone drips off this album like the chewing tobacco from the mouths of the jocks that used to beat up guys like Iggy in high school. And Rolling Stone’s David Fricke fell for this band?

In short, the Cheetahs wanky misinterpretation of Motor City rock ’n’ roll makes it almost embarrassing to call Detroit home. The record goes to great lengths to scare us away from wanting to listen to our MC5 records in much the same way all those pop-punk bands a few years back made us disown our Ramones discs for a while. Don’t fall for this scam, this Detroit envy, this American-made ruse.

E-mail John Peters at letters@metrotimes.com.

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