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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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The Armchairs Are Breaking Up!

The Armchairs Are Breaking Up!

This was a bummer when we heard about it, and we were hoping that it was a joke, but guitarist, singer and sometimes keyboardist Andy Molholt confirmed that it was true. Genial psych-pop outfit The Armchairs are breaking up citing “differing goals, differing musical and creative directions, increasing interpersonal tension, the law of increasing atrophy (the 2nd law of thermodynamics)”. You can read the rest of the message that they posted HERE. They’ll still be performing at Pilam’s Human BBQ this Saturday, and their final show will be May 13 at Johnny Brenda’s with pals Orbit to Leslie, Circadian Rhythms, and Dinosaur Feathers. Hopefully you can make it out and wish them your best. We are sure that we’ll find them involved in the local music community one way or another. Much love to The Armchairs! - The Deli Staff

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