Formed in the winter of 2001 from the ashes of Silver Tongued Devil, The Cheats decided to create the kind of band that was lacking in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA – an old-fashioned, late-70’s-style punk rock ‘n roll band. Led by vocalist Todd Porter, aka Todd Cheat – former frontman of Silver Tongued Devil (People Like You/Century Media) and Eviction (Metal Blade), the ever-evolving line-up logged many miles on tour, adopting the DIY punk attitude that is crucial to the scene.  
2022 marks The Cheats 21st year as a band and they are celebrating with this compilation of 21 cover tunes. Some of these fun tunes have been released on early albums, compilations, 7”s, some were recorded and haven’t seen the light of day and some are fresh out of the studio. ‘XXI’ is not available in stores and is being released as a limited edition, fan club-only album.

Kicking off with an excellent sloppy party anthemic take on the Joneses classic ‘Pillbox’ and to be fair they absolutely nail it with the gang vocals and the punk n roll tones it has energy and the tune rings out loud and proud. To be fair The Cheats selection is stunning from Demolition 23 and The Joneses through Backstreet Girls and The Dogs D’Amour they also take ownership of the Quireboys classic ‘7 O’clock’ and who wouldn’t cover the Dead Boys?

‘Hammersmith Palais’ is snotty as fuck whilst their sprightly take on Cheap Tricks ‘Surrender’ is rapid and a heap of fun. ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ is excellent and these guys clearly just get it you know the whole punk n roll vibe they clearly love it and live it and I love that. It would be so easy to miss the point and deliver these songs (as good as they are) in a weak going through the motions but I’m delighted to report that the Cheats could never be accused of falling into that trap because there is nothing lame or going through the motions here they pretty mcuh nail every single track and take ownership of some pretty iconic tunes.

The fact they didn’t go for the most popular songs by these influential bands is a credit to The Cheats ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’ sounds joyous and they’re having the best of times running through such classics. ‘All this And More’ is a blinding tune anyway and they nail it. I didn’t know the Quireboys could sound so sleazy and punky and they hit their peak on those backing vocals. Hell, I’ll get the beers in if you come over to the UK and we’ll have the best house party ever. Sure songs like ‘Born To Run’ have been done and done really well before (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) but why not? you have to drop some big bombs every now and they it makes the lesser-known classic stand tall next to the big hitters.

Hearing Love and Rockets or Oasis next to The Dogs D’Amour and Demolition 23 is superb the Cheats I bow down to your exquisite taste in Rock and Roll and the fact you’ve been slogging it for over two decades is superb and I and RPM Online salute you. you deserve this moment and its fair to say you nailed it! Rock on brothers, Rock on!!

Author: Dom Daley