Monday, 9 May 2016

Sheer Mag - I / II / III 7"s

You know when you stumble upon a band completely outside your wheelhouse, and they blow your fucking mind? When I first heard Philadelphia's Sheer Mag, they did just that, exciting me in a way no other band has in years.

While I enjoy each of the disparate elements of their sound in their own right; power-pop song structures, Lizzy-worshipping twin leads and punk-as-fuck attitude, when combined as perfectly as they are across these three 7"s, Sheer Mag's sound is irresistable. Their songs might feel like a throwback to decades past, yet despite the obvious influences they feel refreshingly original and unlike any other new band I can think of. A big part of their appeal to me is singer Tina Halladay's voice, which ranges from soulful to sassy, from forlorn to furious, with every damn word belted out with full conviction.

From the clear promise heard in tracks such as 'Sit And Cry', from the first 7", to the snarl of anti-gentrification anthem 'Fan The Flames' from last year's II, and what is undoubtedly 2016's catchiest song about rallying against misogyny 'Can't Stop Fighting', they've continually honed their songwriting chops, as well as becoming increasingly outspoken about wider issues. It's this willingness to write about real societal problems that sets them apart from the scores of punk bands churning out the same old anti-authority spiel.

The aesthetic of each release fits perfectly with their sound, each coming with a photocopied poster & lyric sheet, and housed in sturdy matte card sleeves. I figured I'd have a nightmare trying to track down all three 7"s, what with the first being released over 18 months ago, but luckily Static Shock still has copies of each in the distro:

While these songs feel like they should be spun, and not clicked, those of you unable to track down the records can snag a download of each release direct from Sheer Mag's bandcamp.