Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag Release Powerful New Album
Distant Call, the title of the latest studio album from Philadelphia’s own Sheer Mag, appears contradictory. On one hand, a call from a distance makes perfect sense. The aggressive snarl that singer Tina Halladay brings to every track, a sound simultaneously strident and passionate, should be easy to hear at a distance. However, the sentimental topics covered through each song’s lyrical matter demand the listener to be close. On their new album Distant Call, Sheer Mag come across as personal as they’ve ever been with heavy song content matching the weight of their unrelenting guitar riffs.
Sheer Mag New Album
At just ten songs and a runtime of under 34 minutes, the latest project from these Philadelphia rockers is a tight one. Sheer Mag tries to make every second count as each track abounds with a sense of urgency. This urgency is likely the product of everyday struggles that Halladay sings so profusely about. On “Blood from a Stone” she works through the financial challenges of living check to check. “Hardly to Blame” is an anthem of miscommunication is a crumbling relationship.
The most powerful moments of the album are intertwined with the most personal. “Cold Sword” allows listeners to view Halladay’s meditation on her abusive father in the wake of his death. She contemplates the randomness of family and the prospect of grieving in a complicated situation. But the personal is not confined to negative energy. The eighth song on the album, “The Right Stuff”, is a song of acceptance of body image for Halladay as she croons “My body is a shield/And it’s still the one I wield/I don’t care what they see/’cause I think of beauty differently”.
The instrumental sound of Sheer Mag is drawn straight from the classic rock era 70s with a healthy dose of punk attitude mixed in. Every song is guitar heavy with most featuring soaring solos from the instrument before a final chorus. Some of the riffs do appear uniform and that renders moments of variation quite special. The interplay of acoustic and electric guitar during the chorus of “Blood from a Stone” is a unique moment that may indicate future musical potential for Sheer Mag.
Also, check out the music video for their song “Hardly to Blame” here.