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Sheer Mag | A Distant Call

The Philly foursome's second album could be a great lost album from the ’70s.

WHO ARE THEY? A female-fronted Philadelphia foursome that combines classic guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll with a punky lyrical ethos.

WHAT IS THIS? Their sophomore full-length, which arrives two years after their lauded debut Need to Feel Your Love.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A great lost rock record from the ’70s. Singer Christina Halladay’s high-voltage, lung-shredding shriek could pass for those of some tight-trousered, mullet-headed bad boy, while the band’s classic recipe of chunky guitar riffs, anthemic choruses and four-on-the-floor cowbell-plonk beats wouldn’t be out of place coming out of your dad’s car radio. The lyrics, however, are another story, apparently tackling everything from Halladay’s troubled relationships and job loss to the refugee crisis and income inequality.


HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? On a playlist with kindred spirits from AC/DC and Cheap Trick to Heart and Pat Benatar.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Cathartic, crunchy, gritty, revealing, rugged, rousing, old-school, urgent, dynamic, muscular.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Pointed numbers like Steel Sharpens Steel, The Killer and Chopping Block have a slight edge on the rest, but overall, there isn’t much filler on the 10-song LP.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Are you sure that’s a woman singing?’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? It’s more novelty than necessity — but it’s still good for a spin when you’re in a headbanging mood.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A FABRIC, WHAT FABRIC WOULD IT BE? Leopard-spotted Spandex. Runnersup: Acid-washed denim and studded leather.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? They may sound like arena-rockers, but I doubt they get paid like them.