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November 2014
Sheer Mag
"7"
"
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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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Watery Love Opens for Ceremony at the Barbary Apr. 21

Watery Love Opens for Ceremony at the Barbary Apr. 21

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The Barbary’s hosting an afternoon show today with local punk acts Watery Love, Salvation and Dead People Screaming opening for Ceremony. Watery Love is a Philadelphia underground super group of sorts comprised of former Clockcleaner Richie Charles, Daniel DiMaggio (Home Blitz), Meg Baird (Espers) and Max Milgram. Earlier this month, they released three singles for free download [“(I’m A) Skull,” “This World Minds,” and “All Night Long”], as well as a 7-inch single, “Die With Dignity”/“Leave Me Alone.” Their sound features the sneering vocals of Charles fronting the loud, repetitive riffing coming from the rest of the band providing anthems for anti-social misfits. Fans can check out their new music live at today’s matinee gig before making their way to Watery Love's Record Store Day performance at Borderline Records at 9pm. It'll be a day of love, no doubt. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave, 5pm, $10-12, All Ages -Dan Brightcliffe

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