Reality Theorist Records, 2013
Glenn Falls, New York is home to Sheen, an earthy, mud on your boots sort of rock. Sheen manages to bridge the gap between alt and indie rock and acoustic country sensibilities. With quick, urgently driven guitars pushed by the incredibly tasteful drumming of Dave Harris, there’s always a pop hook to suck you in. Mike Packard delivers a wonderful big, unpolished baritone. Scott Smith brings the swing that helps animate these numbers. It’s easy to overplay in a trio. They each bring just enough.
Throughout, the band focuses on their strengths, which is great songwriting, hip-shaking rhythms, and coming across like the best damn bar band you’ll ever hear. You know, the band that’ll rock every obscure cover you ever wanted to hear live and you’ll swear you already know their original songs after hearing them only once.
“Mudd St” has some seriously strong melodies. Mournful and nostalgic, the song is built on tension. Other bands would throw it into overdrive, but it’s too obvious a move. The restraint works well.
The band delves into some storytelling with “Trappers Son.” Unfolding easily in second gear, there’s a measured pace to the delivery. This isn’t going to be any better if you rush it, so just listen to what they have to say.
“Breaks My Heart/ Every time I Turnaround.” Packard sings on “Turnaround Song.” It’s a great line you can latch onto and if you can resist singing along, you’re a better man than me.
“Coffee Pot Blues” is dirty, and as dark as the grounds in your grandpa’s percolator. The harp playing is a bit of infectious fun. Blues are always best when the gripe is about something obvious, every day, and mundane, like having to get up.
This is gritty enough to feel real. Smooth enough to want more without thinking twice, and with enough twists and turns so you can’t figure them out in just one listen.
Download this kick in the pants and your stereo will be forever happier because you did: http://sheen1.bandcamp.com/