Sheer Mag: III 7"

Wilsuns Recording Company


SHEER MAG return with another four tracker of all killers and no fillers on WILSUNS RC / STATIC SHOCK RECORDS. Nothing has changed on this record at all - it's all epic riffs, a lo-fi and compact production, hooks galore and that soulful and gritty voice you already love. 'CAN'T STOP FIGHTING' is three and a half minutes of power pop meets classic rock and sits somewhere between THE SHIVVERS and THIN LIZZY if such a place exists. 'WORTH THE TEARS' is a little cleaner, mellower and soulful. Side two opens with the scuzzy and dense 'NIGHT ISN'T BRIGHT' before the standout cut 'NOBODY'S BABY' - which sounds a 1978 classic rock hit that hints at JUDAS PRIEST's 'LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT' and KISS in their prime. It's an instant pop nugget that sounds like a time long gone.

Our take: I find it completely fascinating to follow the discourse surrounding Sheer Mag. Punks seem to have no idea how to assess them, and they end up saying the most bizarre things about this band in order to either hype them up or (far more likely on the boards I read and in my Facebook feed) write them off. I think that this ability to inspire such apparent confusion is the result of Sheer Mag's singularity... as clearly as their sound points to things that came before them, I can't think of another band that sounds like them, and in a musical climate plagued by the derivate people simply don't know how to react to a band with a sound this fresh and original. Despite the fact that no one seems to be able to figure them out, it seems like everyone, by this point at least, has picked a side when it comes to Sheer Mag. Is this record going to make anyone change their mind? Well, I doubt it, not so much because it's more of the same, but rather because whether or not people like this band doesn't seem to have anything to do with the actual music they make. Indeed, some things have changed since the last record. The first thing you'll notice is that the production on this one isn't as ear-splittingly raw as it was on their second EP, so if you were turned off by the rough sound of that record then you might want to check back in, because while this recording is still very far from polished, it doesn't seem as confrontationally abrasive. As for the music, I feel like the band's Fleetwood Mac influences come through a bit more on these songs than they did on past releases. The tempos feel a little more laid-back and the hooks have the same broad, stick-to-your-ribs quality that I associate with Rumours. Otherwise, III largely carries forward the aesthetic of the last two releases, and by my assessment at least the formula is very far from wearing thin. So, while I wait for IV I'm pretty sure this is going to spend just as much time on my turntable as the first two Sheer Mag records did.
Tags: 10s female-fronted melodic power-pop recommended