Date TimeAugust 22, 2019
VoiceTopics from LGBTQ rights to fat-shaming, injustice to abuse are wrapped up in jubilant cock-rock minus the male entitlement
Sheer Mag: A Distant Call review – swagger rockin on grim reality
The second album by the Philadelphia outfit Sheer Mag begins with a yowl. Triumphant, guttural and faintly unhinged, it’s the kind that suggests arena-sized excess, permed mullets and peacocking masculinity. That it is delivered by a woman, the band’s commanding and pleasingly rough-around-the-edges vocalist Tina Halladay, is the first clue that this almost comically retro mashup of hard rock and power pop may not be an entirely straightforward historical re-enactment. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that the swaggeringly macho and viscerally gleeful sonic palate is going to be taken well outside its comfort zone, because A Distant Call is an album with a sombre and timely purpose: to parse the way global-scale tragedy intersects with deeply personal pain.

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