steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs

"Maximum Overdrive" CD

Alive Records

Genres: punk rock, rock

Alive Records
POB 7112
Burbank CA 91510

Apr 5 - 11 2004

Maximum Overdrive is the "beefed-up" reissue of The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs' 1997 album, which was simply titled Overdrive.  On this release we see the band taking rock n' roll concepts and cross-breeding them with punk energy and attitude.  It's no wonder they've toured with the likes of Nashville Pussy, New Bomb Turks, and The Supersuckers - fans of those types of acts will likely find much to enjoy in this CD's seventeen songs.

I won't bore you with details, but suffice to say these guys are good.  If you like The X-Impossibles, or even more mainstream acts like The Hives and co, you'll be able to find value in Maximum Overdrive.  With a carefree, fiery sound not unlike the one MC5 and The Stooges perfected, The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs will get your feet moving.  Just listening to this album makes me want to run out the door and find the nearest mosh pit.  Which brings us to the main problem with this album - it would sound so much better live.  Even though these tracks are remarkably well recorded and produced, one can't help but wonder how much better they would sound at a show.

The music itself is simple but effective.  The songs are all pretty similar, with a raucous, explosive sound that values energy over melody.  The only exception is "Peppermint," a surprisingly pop-based tune with a strong verse-and-chorus structure.  It is the only tune here that could achieve any sort of mainstream appeal, and as such I'm a bit confused as to how it got on this disc.

If you can dig some good punk rock, garage rock, or just plain modern rock n' roll, then Maximum Overdrive will be a perfect addition to your collection.  Just make sure you can handle it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 18 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]