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Review: SHEAFS debut EP ‘Vox Pop’

Review: SHEAFS debut EP ‘Vox Pop’

Sam Hunter
Cover art for SHEAFS debut EP Vox Pop

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, five nights on the taps caught up with me and I’ve been off with tonsilitis for the last week. I also had to lock myself in my box room because my housemates were certain I had Coronavirus.

This meant I missed SHEAFS play their debut EP, Vox Pop, at The Grace, Islington which I’m mortified about.

Isolated in a room for days with nothing but a laptop screams high productivity, right? Wrong – because I’ve also got a bed.

However, I did manage to spend a night with SHEAFS, albeit through the medium of Alexa, but hey, here’s what I thought of the band’s first EP…

***

It’s an immediately fiercely punchy start with Thinking Out Loud, with a bass drum that would rattle your heart if you were to see it live *sighs*, like one of those big fuck-off fireworks you get at the finale of the community display. 

“Sorry if you heard what I was saying, I was thinking out loud” 

For some strange unbeknownst reason, I don’t think that Lawrence Feenstra (vocalist) isn’t sorry that you heard – not one bit. And it unrepentantly lets you know what journey you’ve just strapped yourself into for the next 15 minutes.

There’s no slowing down on the injection of fuzzy energy with WIFA (World is Falling Apart) with its irreverent reverbed guitar solo controlling the background throughout the song and emphasizing the lyrics “the world is falling apart and that’s okay” although it’s clearly not okay.

A warning: whatever you do, don’t play Total Vanity in a cafe or on a bus or anywhere quiet for that matter. Despite the spikey guitars, it’s a bewitching listen that will make you want to tear shit up. It’s a horror story of the unavoidable pressures of self-image from the media – with this song being a road out.

They say that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (or they do on quoteinvestigator.com at least) and SHEAFS nail it with their riffs and relateable sing-a-long lyrics.

Shopping is a song about how we’re essentially suckers for marketing. While listing things that he finds himself buying; “Teabags, mouthwash, self-esteem, soup” sums up the whole dark side of consumerism in a beautifully simple way. 

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Care Less is the perfect end to Vox Pop, an angry recital of the ridiculous things we find ourselves doing daily that helps us in no way. Care Less is the final kick in shins of the current way of the world. 

If it didn’t have the speedy, heavy driving bass and drums, I’d say it was a breath of fresh air, but it’s more of a cough on someone you hate – both are equally as freeing.

Tarek Musa has done a great service in producing this EP. The heavy bass is a force rather than a muddy drone that can be quite common with this style.

After listening to Vox Pop I feel cleansed by thick distortion. It’s a discrepant account of the current way we’re almost forced to live, but a view that’s shared by an increasing number of people nevertheless. 

I love it.

P.S. It’s made me incredibly sad that I couldn’t make their show. I don’t want you to feel the same pain. Catch them.

Stream SHEAFS Vox Pop

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