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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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Norwegian Arms

Spaceship Aloha & Norwegian Arms Opening for Oumar Konate at JB’s May 27

Multi-faceted worldly musician from Mali, Oumar Konate, makes his Philly live performance debut tonight. And he’ll also be joined by a lineup of multi-faceted worldly locals to complement this occasion. When he’s not banging away at the drums for Man Man, Christopher Sean “Pow Pow” Powell is the savvy producer behind Spaceship Aloha. The artist manages to construct a lush blend of vibrant electronic melodies amid a space-age Hawaiian musical landscape. And the end result may have you dancing in a fervor. Whether it’s the ukulele-fueled minimalist approach of Trimming of Hides or the whimsical, melodic use of electronics to round out the sounds on Wolf Like A Stray Dog, Norwegian Arms consistently proves to be an effervescent chameleon of a band. And the fact that they’ll be performing 100% all new material this evening is all the more reason to attend. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill


Dream Safari Opening for Norwegian Arms & Snowmine at JB’s Feb. 7

Philly’s own Dream Safari plays an expansive sound that seems to reach to the corners of the earth. The stage name of Chris Coulton, the project specializes in a danceable electro world beat that pulls inspiration from multiple genres. In the past few months, Coulton has called upon various deejays in the area to release a remixed version of his EP, Night Howl, helping to demonstrate the flexibility in his sound. It doesn’t feel calculated, but rather the various disco, jungle-pop layers flow easily into one another, making for a versatility that allowed the “remixes” album to hold up against the original. They’ll be opening for Philly/Brooklyn trio Norwegian Arms, who will be headlining this evening at Johnny Brenda’s. The weirdo-folk outfit allows its surroundings to seep into the music, taking their listeners on a journey with them, from the woods of Siberia to the streets of New York City. Also performing on the bill is Brooklyn-based Snowmine. The group toes the line between dance-worthy and extremely chill ambiance, depending on the listener’s mood. The night promises to be full of spacious and layered sounds, ones that invoke music from various world corners, and will be sure to expand to every corner of the venue. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

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Photo Recap: Pattern is Movement 12" Release Show w/The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper & WYLDSTYLE DJs at Union Transfer

This past Thursday, Pattern is Movement celebrated the release of their 12" "Suckling" b/w "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" at Union Transfer, while continuing to pique our interest in regards to their long-awaited LP that is scheduled to drop in January 2014 via Hometapes. Stacking the bill with talented pals The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper and the WYLDSTYLE DJs (who brought the 90's dance-pop jams), all were encouraged to shake what their mamas gave them. (BTW: Keep your eyes and ears on Worshyper - sexy, cerebral R&B grooves from the Great Northeast. We sure will.) Check out our photos from the evening HERE! (Photo by Brandi Lukas)


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Photo Recap: Pattern is Movement 12" Release Show w/The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper & WYLDSTYLE DJs at Union Transfer

- by Brandi Lukas 


Pattern is Movement

 

The Spinto Band

 

Norwegian Arms

 

Worshyper

 

WYLDSTYLE DJs

 

 

 

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Pattern is Movement & Friends at Union Transfer Oct. 24

The truly dynamic duo of Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward, a.k.a. Pattern is Movement, headline an exceptional evening of Philly-centric musicians tonight at Union Transfer. The 12’’physical release of their new single “Suckling” b/w “Untitled (How Does It Feel) will also be on-hand at UT. With the release of PiM’s yet-to-be-titled new LP scheduled for January 2014, via Hometapes, the group is all but assured to unleash some new material that they’ve been practicing for a live setting. The pair produces multilayered songs that harness the textured interplay of an array of instruments, primarily keys/synth/percussion and vocals, creating an elaborate way to get into the mood for some lovin’. Delaware natives, The Spinto Band, will help to warm things up, bringing their sleek combination of crisp vocal harmonies and airy arrangements, while another intriguing outfit Norwegian Arms cooks up their custom recipe of high-energy weirdo folk. The stacked-vocal, experimental R&B trio of Worshyper round outs this diversely cutting-edge bill. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8pm, $13, All Ages - Michael Colavita


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