New album: Sheer Mag || Playing Favorites

If you’d ask me to list my favorite bands of the past decade, Sheer Mag is probably the first band I’d write down. Few bands can match the rush of excitement their music ignites. In fact, I’ll admit, there’s a slight tinge of nervousness that creeps in whenever they drop new tracks. It’s not just because of the lofty expectations they’ve set, but also because Sheer Mag operates in a realm all their own, effortlessly traversing across hard rock, metal, and disco within the same album.  The question of course, and herein lay my anxiety when the band’s latest LP Playing Favorites arrived on my doorstep, is how far they will stray from their guitar-driven roots toward a more pop-centric funk-a-delic sound?  More selfishly, will I actually like the record?

The short answer is HELL YES! Sheer Mag go from Thin Lizzy to Jackson Five, sometimes within the same breath, and they make it work. Playing Favorites has that special quality of triggering automatic responses and exclamations. Good luck sitting still to the title track and Eat It And Beat It – what a way to open the record! While listening to this record, my inner voice becomes a relentless cheerleader, showering the record with childlike enthusiasm and profanities of joy. Admittedly, Sheer Mag changes tones and styles on the remainder of the record. In lesser hands the incorporation of disco, funk, pub rock and country could have resulted in a mixed bag. But, to my ears, Sheer Mag melds it all together seamlessly. What a band, what a record!

Playing Favorites is out now on Third Man Records.


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