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November 2014
Sheer Mag
"7"
"
mp3
Relatively new outfit, South Philly’s Sheer Mag, fronted by The Shakes’ Christina Halladay, wastes no time with filler on their debut 7”. The four-track release is equal parts garage and punk bravado.
 
“What You Want” kick-starts the record with jangly percussion and pristinely fuzzed-out riffs. As the song’s melody unfolds, Halladay’s screamed-out, heartfelt vocals recount and flawlessly capture the dissonance of romantic antics and their aftermath. Guitar-drenched interludes and buzzing drums reminiscent of Colleen Green, circa Cujo, and early demos by Bleached render the piece memorable, while noisy shreds near the three-minute mark bring to mind the lo-fi glory of the Useless Eaters’ Daily Commute.
 
Sheer Mag’s “Sit and Cry” is bittersweet and abrasive. Opening with crisply executed riffage, the second track off the band’s EP audibly embodies the malaise of its namesake. Halladay’s vocals, coupled with trippy distortion, amplify the emotional nuance of the release as a whole. As “Sit and Cry” nears its end, chords morph into reverb as she croons “cry, cry.” Soon after, the satisfyingly moody “Point Breeze” begins. Starting off with a rhythmic drive evocative of Cousin Brian or Throwing Up, the undertone of “Point Breeze” captivates listeners nostalgic for Slutever’s Pretend to Be Nice. Crisp with caustic yet earnest diction by Halladay, the song is energetically catching from start to end.
 
The album’s closer, “Hard Lovin,” is gritty, like a mellowed-out Bobbyteens’ B-side. Shaking tambourine and whining guitar lines perfectly compliment her rowdy vocals as the song progresses. Thematically, “Hard Lovin” is a kindred spirit to acts like No Bunny or Hunx and His Punx. It’s a song for romantics with a penchant for rock ‘n’ roll. It’s an anthem.
 
Overall, Sheer Mag's debut release is brief. Despite this, the four-song EP is more than enough to wet the appetites of their soon-to-be adoring fans. - Dianca Potts

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Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Nick Millevoi’s way with intricate jazz-rock has spawned a solo career and the consistently impressive power trio Many Arms with bandmates John Deblase and Ricardo Lagomasino, as well as the numerous other projects that his magical fingers have touched. Recently welcomed into the Tzadik Records stable, the patchwork aesthetic of this group is an experimental gem. They play an entrancing combination of punk and free jazz, harnessing the gnashing relentless forward motion of the former to the wild unpredictability of the latter; however disjointed their compositions get, such as the appropriately-writhing “Snakes In The Grass,” though, the rapport of these three musicians shines through, with a clarity to each member's contribution. Their show tonight at the Rotunda is free, and they'll be teaming up with master tenor saxophonist Colin Fisher to perform a set of new material. Fisher will also be opening the evening with a solo guitar set of his own. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 8pm, Free, All Ages - Alyssa Greenberg

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