Sheer Mag – Need to Feel Your Love

There’s a music journalist cliché about a band or artist having a singular purpose or focus. Specific sounds or themes breed good, coherent music for sure, but there’s something fascinating about acts that can weave disparate strands of influence into something musically coherent. Philadelphia punks Sheer Mag don’t have a singular purpose on purpose, opting to blend a love of ’70s guitar rock with a reverence for today’s D.I.Y. road warriors.

Sheer Mag’s reputation was built in part on three lo-fi 7-inches that tease a mastery of glam-era riffage and showcase frontperson Tina Halladay as someone who can really sing. They are good records for sure, but they pale in comparison to a live set that better showcases a talented and creative band.

Need to Feel Your Love is a more accurate snapshot of Sheer Mag’s dual role as 21st century punk rockers and a band with the chops to celebrate glam, funk and even a little A.M. gold. Halladay comes swinging right out the gate with “Meet Me in the Street,” a tough as nails declaration of independence that could pass as a Suzi Quatro B-side. From there, the title track and “Pure Desire” introduce dance music to the fray, with both songs addressing the ups and downs of love without sounding the least bit sappy or contrived. There’s even guitar noodling that could’ve been lifted from a country rock deep cut on “Suffer Me.”

Just as Blondie could meander into disco and still be the badasses behind “X-Offender,” Sheer Mag remain the D.I.Y. underdogs that started drumming up hype back in 2014. By not just focusing on being hardcore, garage, or anything else, the band has forged a sound that allows for musical twists and turns that aren’t far departures from the 7-inches that brought them to the dance.

Sheer Mag
Need to Feel Your Love
[Sheer Mag]