Album Reviews

Playing Favorites
Sheer Mag Playing Favorites Punk Rock Theory
Sunday, April 28, 2024 - 14:22
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Even though the lyrics don’t exactly deal with partying all night long, Sheer Mag’s music comes with an undeniable sense of fun. That was the case when the band first got noticed with 2015’s ‘Fan The Flames’ and it still very much is so on the band’s new album, ‘Playing Favorites’. Mixing 70’s rock a la Thin Lizzy with a lo-fi sound and punk attitude seems to be a formula that works wonders for the band. Or as vocalist Tina Halladay once summarized their sound: nobody seems to write straight-up rock bangers any more.

Album number three originally started out as a disco EP, the band’s attempt to work through some personal difficulties by playing danceable music. You can still pick up on tit in a song like the breezy, Blondie-like ‘All Lined Up’ or ‘Don’t Come Lookin’. But the Philly-based band will just as well slide in some country meets Jackson 5 vibes on ‘Moonstruck’, while ‘Mechanical Garden’ is a 6-minute-long beast that shapeshifts from powerpop to funk with an orchestral interlude thrown in for… you guessed it, fun.

The end result is Sheer Mag’s most varied album to date, which also finds the band still remaining true to what makes them one of the most unique voices around.


Playing Favorites track list:

  1. Playing Favorites
  2. Eat It and Beat It
  3. All Lined Up
  4. Don’t Come Lookin’
  5. I Gotta Go
  6. Moonstruck
  7. Mechanical Garden
  8. Golden Hour
  9. Tea On The Kettle
  10. Paper Time
  11. When You Get Back
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.