The sophmore LP from these Philly legends!
Our take: A Distant Call is the second proper full-length from Sheer Mag, and if you don’t know them by now, you will never never never know them. Well, maybe you will, but if you’re reading this you’re well aware of Sheer Mag. So, what’s up with the new record? While their debut album, Need to Feel Your Love, felt like a conscious attempt to expand their sound after their well-received run of singles, A Distant Call is more focused. Tracks like “Blood from a Stone” and “Unfound Manifest” have the twangy mainstream rock sound that has garnered the band comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, while “Steel Sharpens Steel” and “The Killer” sound like what Jeff calls “cowboy boot metal,” i.e. those post-Appetite for Destruction bands like Bullet Boys and Junkyard that injected some Skynyrd-inspired southern rock riffs into the hair metal formula. While hard rock has always been part of Sheer Mag’s sound (see “Meet Me in the Streets” from the previous album), except for the closing track, “Keep on Runnin,” A Distant Call is leaner, tougher, and harder rocking than any other Sheer Mag record. The thing is, though, my favorite Sheer Mag songs are their most delicate tracks, i.e. songs like “Fan the Flames,” “Pure Desire,” and the title track from Need to Feel Your Love. The fluid lead playing and ethereal vocals make “Keep on Runnin” my favorite track on the record, but I wish that A Distant Call was tilted more toward these poppier moments than the big hard rock riffs. Still, no one can deny Sheer Mag’s ability to write a riff, a song, or a vocal hook, and those skills show no evidence of diminishing here.