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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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Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Some bands attempt to play up their sound by adding pieces that just don’t fit, in a word overproducing. Philly’s Streetwalkers don’t over dress for the occasion. It’s simply jeans and t-shirt indie rock. The guitar riffs are simple and slightly raw, but that rawness is a technique meant to demonstrate the band’s style. Streetwalkers are comfortable in their own skin and the slightly worn appearance. The straightforward “we are what we are” approach gives an air of natural authenticity. The bass guitar thumps along in a slightly irritated manner that matches the six-string while the drums come along for the trip.  When the guitar decides to step to the front, the sound is heavy yet controlled pushing up to the edge, but not over it. They’re a band that can play the clean-cut rock ‘n’ roll. But they prefer to be themselves rather than dressing the part - frayed edges and worn boots take it or leave it. Tonight Streetwalkers will be performing in South Philly at a DIY house show as part of a Montreal vs. Philly showcase with Satellite Hearts, Alpha Wavez, Crabe and Leamers. House Show, (Please contact one of the acts for more details.), 7pm, $6, All Ages - Michael Colavita

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