Sheer Mag - II - 7

Labels: Static Shock
Review by: Andy Malcolm

Sheer Mag is the band that all your cool punk mates have been hyping for the past few months. If you are not a cool punk, you might have checked out the first 7″ and raised an eyebrow. That’s what I did. Then the cool punks kept on talking about them and I checked out II as well. And wow. This was more like it. The cool punks were right for once! Normally they are all hyping boring hardcore bands but every now and again they get it right, with stuff like this and Royal Headache. It’s even sort of in that Royal Headache ballpark – it’s wilfully lo-fi, sabotaging some spectacular songwriting with the ropiest production that makes it sounds like it was recorded on a 1980s tape recorder that you plugged into your Speccy to load Jet Set Willy, whilst taking a bath. In your actual bathroom, not Willy’s bathroom. The music is I guess power pop with a strong rock n roll bent and Static Shock’s website name-checks the Jackson Five. It’s not just the high pitched vocals on “œFan the Flames” that can bring that comparison to mind. There’s this soulful element at times to the music that really fits that.

“œFan the Flames” is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year, and “œButton Up” is also a stunner. The other two tracks are filler, but when you can bang out two songs as good as that… I really do wonder just how good they’d be if they did a proper recording, I mean I love shitty sounding music but the songwriting on “œFan the Flames” in particular is so stellar that it kind of seems a shame to stunt the songs in such a fashion. But hey, this single manages to overcome it anyway. Good work, band.