The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs found the inspiration for their colorful name in the first line of "Search and Destroy," one of Iggy Pop's most incendiary Stooges songs ("I'm a street-walkin' cheetah with a heart full of napalm . . ."). The Cheetahs didn't take just their name from the Stooges; they use the old Detroit group as one of their sonic reference points as well. On their brilliant sophomore album, Waiting for the Death of My Generation
, the Cheetahs depart from the standard Stooges worshipers with an amazing diversity of style that is the natural by-product of a wealth of '70s influences. They claim influences across four disparate decades of music and are right on the money with all of them. The band is as punk as the Stooges and the MC5, as metal as Motörhead, as new wave as the Cars, as intelligently pop as Cheap Trick, and as hard-rock horny as Aerosmith. If there is a prime example of their extraordinary range on Waiting for the Death of My Generation
, it's the band's blistering cover of the Saints' "Know Your Product," complete with Stones-like horns and insistent hooks. It's followed by the full-throttle Beatles-meet-Minor Threat punk melodicism of "Why You Gotta Come First." Guitarists Frank Meyer and Art Jackson are encyclopedic rock-riff historians, who have successfully incorporated the hooks of their ancestors into their own top-volume execution. After just two heartstopping albums, it's clear that the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs are a shrieking, shredding rock-and-roll time capsule, bursting with sounds from the past and prepared to alter the future.