“The Sunspot Letters”, “The Recordings Of The Middle East”

This week I’m reviewing two Australian artists, Leader Cheetah and The Middle East. They toured together earlier this year and I think they might both become successful bands.


Leader Cheetah - "The SUnspot Letters"

Leader Cheetah - "The Sunspot Letters"


I found out about Leader Cheetah after their old band (Pharaohs) broke up. I was surprised with the sound of Leader Cheetah, because Pharaohs were a indie rock band and while you can hear that its the same band, Leader Cheetah are a totally different genre, indie folk.

“The Sunspot Letters” was the feature album of the week on triple j this week and I’m really impressed with it. I can’t not mention the fact that the singer (Dan Crannitch) sounds exactly like Neil Young, because at times it does sound like you’re listening to a Neil Young song. The bands biggest advantage is its influences, the most notable being Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This continues on from a number of  modern bands (Fleet Foxes, Okkervil River) playing that style of music.

The song ‘Bloodlines’ is the centrepiece of the album, the vocals have beautiful harmonies and it incorparates the electric guitar really well. It’s got some really easy-to-learn lyrics and is really catchy.

‘Alibi’ is another song that really makes this album stand out from others and this is because they are catchy and easy to listen to, which can’t be said about other similar albums (Fleet Foxes) and while these albums amazing interpretations of a genre long passed by, they don’t grab your attention as this album does.

The two part song ‘Fly, Golden Arrow’, part one is the most fast paced song on the album, but part two has a similarity to genres like post-rock. It has a slide guitar that makes the song sound like it was written decades ago. That’s the feeling I get with this album, it sounds like a decade old album, yet it still seems relevant and while it may pass some listeners by, it definately is worth listening to.

I would’ve liked their old band to make a full length album, but this is something totally different and really proves that they made the right decision to progress with this band. I’d recommend this album to most people, but mainly people who listen to Neil Young and other similar music.



The Middle East - "The Recordings of the Middle East"

The Middle East - "The Recordings of the Middle East"


The Middle East are a band who released their first album in 2008 and then disappeared for a while and now are back looking to get exposure.They are a acoustic lo-fi band, with an obvious influence from post-rock, a strange combination but it surprisingly works.

I heard their song ‘Blood’ on the radio the othe week and I instantly loved it. It’s an amazingly innocent and beautiful song, it builds up to a brass section filled finale and is one of the my favourite songs of its genre.

The bands ability to write songs from two genres (post-rock and indie folk) makes the band be on the edge of a lot of things, but in the end they’ll have to write a full album, not a collection of songs like this is, to really show what they can do on a larger audience.

While their post-rock songs are good, the band really shines when they are doing songs in a similar vein to ‘Blood’ and I’m really going to look forward to their next album, hopefully planned for release later this year.



~ by Michael Hodder on March 15, 2009.

2 Responses to ““The Sunspot Letters”, “The Recordings Of The Middle East””

  1. […] to go on are the likes of ‘Chimes & Bells’ and ‘The Middle East’, whose lyrics are not mired in overbearing instrumentation or (sometimes) unintelligible vocals. […]

  2. […] [Joint Review] “I Want That You Are Always Happy” is disproportionally weaker than “The Recordings of The Middle East”, returning three years later after their unofficial debut, follow-up EP of the same name, and […]

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