Album Review: Need To Feel Your Love by Sheer Mag
Whatever happened to rock n roll, man? Like real rock n roll. Like, the rock n roll that when you listen to it it feels like you’re white-kunckling a live wire? Rock n roll like that doesn’t rely on gimmicks like fancy costumes or outrageous names (although that doesn’t necessarily hurt), it doesn’t rely on super heavy tuned down instruments and blast beats reserved for heavy metal, no. REAL rock n roll comes from the soul. The heart. The sexual organs. Real rock n roll you can dance to, fight to, love to, laugh to, cry to, and fuck to all in one fell swoop. What ever happened to that stuff? Are we too scared of it? Did we become a society that wants to shy away from true emotion and expression in the mainstream media and art because were afraid of ourselves? Or is the world just so incomprehensibly fucked that it cant take stripping itself down, taking a look in the mirror, and stepping on a fine tuned distorted power chord while singing about it.. because its ashamed of itself? So they exiled real rock n roll to the underground and vilified any true brave soul that ventures down there after it? Leaving kids like you and me to fend for ourselves desperately reaching for something real.. some of us are lucky enough to have grabbed that Fun House record.. some didn’t get so lucky, and it ain’t their fault. What a pity. But they still expect us to sit back and let us feed our children a steady diet of processed pop bullshit void of true emotion and wouldn’t dare to provoke a challenging thought and then turn it back around on the listener because they cant keep up with their pretentious bullshit fake standards? Keep eating McDonalds and watching Fox News, ya pricks… You’re the reason were pissed off. So, once I find a second to put my middle fingers down, I suppose a thank you is in order.. because you’re the reason why bands like Sheer Mag are on a mission to bring rock n roll back to the masses. Would this really be a Death Comes Lifting review if I didn’t go on a venomous rant right off the bat that has nothing to specifically do with the album I’m supposed to be reviewing? Oh yeah, and fuck you too.
Whether rock n roll comes back or not.. well, thats completely up to us. I know where I stand… so It’s completely up to YOU.
Anywho! Arguably when rock n roll ended, when the stooges broke up in the mid 70’s, what were we left with is a bunch of bullshit and AC/DC. Anyone that wanted that 70’s hard rock sexual anarchy either went one of two ways: punk or heavy metal. Some both, some got sucked into the never ending abyss of bullshit, but you know what I mean. Give or take. Fast forward a few decades and I’m certain and not gonna sit here and name them, but there have been bands that stayed true to their 70s hard rock rebellious nature that have been criminally overlooked. Fuck, the stooges were even forced to get back together!! Im trying not to let Sheer Mag become one of those bands.
From the opening track “Meet Me in the Streets,” (catch the vibe?) to the beautiful and soulful conclusion perfect for a pelvic circle or 10, “(Say Goodbye To) Sophie Scholl,” this Philadelphia gang of raw power rockers do nothing short of kick some fucking ass then kiss you goodbye over this 40 minute flight into the eye of the storm. Now the album cover makes more sense, ya feel me?
Now, even though the opener sets the tone and I’ve certainly talked this record up to be a huge heavy hard rock kick in the dick, its really not. NOT THAT THAT’S A BAD THING. It’s just not necessarily the next “Raw Power,” although a good bit of tunes are heavily reminiscent of that, but the spirit is there. Sheer Mag weave in and out of the high voltage hitters with a HELL of a lot of hooks that left me singing for days. Specifically, on the ultra-catchy “Just Can’t Get Enough” when the three (!) guitarists shine and highlight their awesomely raspy voiced vocalist Tina Halladay’s larger than life chorus. And on the next politically charged muscle car of a track “Expect the Bayonet,” same deal. So rad.
Having the awesome opportunity to see them live opening for Power Trip at the always lovely Spirit Hall here in Pittsburgh, I can personally attest to Sheer Mag’s ability to keep the listener captivated. This holds true with their track list on this record as well as their live set. There’s just enough disco-is pop rock groovy songs that’ll have ya dancing around til the sun comes up and kills all the vampire glampire freaks. Those tunes would be the title track, especially placed second on the record, throwing the listener for a loop after the opening banger. “Suffer Me” has enough twangy riffage and more melody than you can responsibly handle.. same with the next track “Pure Desire” which leaves you with just that.
The closing trilogy of tunes really do a killer job with wrapping this up in a lovely rock n roll way. They’ll hurt you at first, then kiss you to death with these little lovely tunes.
Overall, while it isn't an absolutely perfect record, the true spirit of hard rock n roll is there. And if you consider yourself even a little bit of a fan of the classic hard rock, you would be doing yourself a grave disservice not to check out Sheer Mag. Rock on, motherfuckers.
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