Sheer Mag - Need to Feel Your Love (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sheer Mag

Need to Feel Your Love (2017)


Sheer Mag are a band that drum up some really intriguing conversations with my friends. I saw them at LA's When We Were Young festival and I loved their energy. Tina Halladay's raw, raspy vocals brought an energy on stage that I totally dug and after diving into all their EPs, I easily became a fan. However, I could see them as 'not being for everyone.' One of the guys in our group said 'she sounded like Eric Cartman' and on Need to Feel Your Love, you know what, he was actually right. And who says that's a bad thing? Her unique delivery really helps establish a presence and it stretches every note the band makes. My one complaint is that it's too over-produced and distorted, and takes away after hearing her vocals live. That aside, this album's a solid culmination of years of work and will certainly be drawing new fans in.

Sheer Mag wear their influences on their sleeve but they manage to twist them into something that they can easily call their own. They take sounds like AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy and warp them around Halladay's vocals using winding, twisty rock n' roll riffs to craft something unique and which you don't find often on the market. "Meet Me In The Street" opens proceedings and is a great example of this. It also sets the stage to recognize the variations to come, starting with the self-titled track (which has an epic Motown riff-set to it), before switching lanes into tracks like "Suffer Me" (a country-funk jam) and "Pure Desire (which feels like homage to the Bee Gees). These songs go down so smoothly to highlight how musically diverse the band can be. "Turn It Up" continues to flip things up as it runs off like a Judas Priest train, and stands in stark contrast to Sheer Mag's laid back songs such as "Rank and File".

Led by the Seelys and Matt Palmer on the instrumental side, I can't say enough about the licks and melodies on tap. The riffs, tempo-shifts and harmonic curveballs come at you hard and fast, and you can't dodge them. Such a good problem to have. Later on, the album winds down with poppier tones such as "Until You Find The One" -- a ballad that's as catchy as it is heartbreaking -- as well as mid-tempo jams such as "Milk and Honey" and "Can't Play It Cool". What they all represent are the views of hopeless Philly romantics whose punk ethos warmly embrace 70's rock music. The result? An endearing work of art from a band that undoubtedly have more magic up their sleeve, as they've consistently shown in the past. And as this album shows, they have a lot of love to share, and for us to feel.