Times are tough, shit is rough, and Sheer Mag feel like the perfect band to rock us into the apocalypse. Which isn’t to say there’s anything particularly doomy and gloomy about this band’s bubble-gummy amalgam of both punk and classic rock. And that’s not even to say that I actually think we’re careening towards some sort of global endgame in the near future. Though maybe that’s just the way I feel every time I listen to Need To Feel Your Love, and try to convince myself that the warring factions of the world could be united under the almighty power of rock and roll.
Honestly, this is the kind of album that I don’t see much point in reviewing in-depth. Because really, the charms of Sheer Mag are quite simple – heavy riffs, catchy hooks, and plenty of attitude provided courtesy of lead singer Tina Halladay. If you like rock music the way I like rock music, it’s an easy sell. And if it strikes you as the same tired rock riffage that’s been done about a million times, well, then this probably isn’t for you (in which case, what’s your problem, bro?)
That said, having following Sheer Mag after the release of their III EP, released last year, and then checking out the first two EP’s in that trilogy, this band has shown an impressive ability to evolve their sound, even on their debut album. A song like “Suffer Me” has this weird elastic guitar line that I can’t quite put my finger on, sounding a bit like Paul Simon or Steely Dan, and yet still retains the band’s hard rocking edge. The album’s second half shows off even more sides to these guys, with ballads like “Until You Find The One” and “Milk And Honey”, which go to show that they can sound tough even when they’re playing it a bit soft.
So basically, Sheer Mag is the kind of band I pretty much love, even if there is a slight bit of skepticism sitting there in the back of my mind knowing full well that these guys are playing exactly to my musical sweet spot. This is probably a phenomenon we’ve talked about before, where a piece of pop culture speaks so specifically to your tastes, that it’s almost like you’re being pandered to. But right now, maybe we need pop culture that brings us the kind of comfort that the culture at large can’t, and especially when it sounds so ready to stand up for the weirdos and take on the world.
Favorite Tracks: “Just Can’t Get Enough”, “Expect The Bayonet”, “Suffer Me”