SHEER MAG – ” Compilation “

Posted: September 17, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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This Philly quintet’s debut LP—a remastered compilation of their three EPs to date—is a scuzzed-out hookfest with an entire kitchen’s worth of tasty ingredients plucked from the great rock bands of the ‘70s onward. Lead singer Tina Halladay stakes out center stage with a raucous wail that exudes just enough soul to avoid careening off the tracks. When Sheer Mag mixes in Kyle Seely’s riff-loving lead guitar and Ian Dykstra’s biscuit-tin drums, they come out with a danceable punk-boogie formula that recalls Australia’s Royal Headache or, for the older anglophiles in the room, Thin Lizzy. On standout track “Hard Lovin’,” Seely builds a nimble, blues-inflected guitar line beneath Halladay as she sings, “Little boy I can see in the dark / I can breathe underwater, gonna leave my mark / By the time you find out I’ll be down in the flames / I’m in every city you will know my name.” When she gets to your city, don’t miss her.

Sheer Mag have never sounded like a punk band in the traditional sense. The ‘70s-style arena rock they draw their inspiration from didn’t set much of a standard for social consciousness—many of its most famous acts, like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, left it with a reputation for misogyny, hedonism and appropriation. For Halladay, that made it all the more important for Sheer Mag to push the sound in a more thoughtful direction, one forged by the punk bands that followed those classic-rock monoliths—The Clash, Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys

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