Sheer Mag’s ascent over the past couple of years has been truly impressive. This Philadelphia garage-punk band burst onto the scene with their first EP three years ago, and managed to turn a whole lot of heads with only a few songs. In the intervening years, their two followup EPs, Sheer Mag II and Sheer Mag III, only further advanced their world-dominating awesomeness, to the point that it seemed everyone who even cared a little bit about punk rock knew how great they were. And they didn’t even have an album out yet!
Well, that at least has finally changed. The release of Need To Feel Your Love last month fulfills all the promise showcased on those excellent first three EPs, mixing the kind of chunky garage/power-pop snarl the band has always had on hand with an increased pop sensibility that moves in an almost-disco direction on the title track. Frontwoman Tina Halladay brings that same switchblade swagger to her vocals that you can find all over prime Shangri-Las and Runaways material, and if you get down with those bands, you need Sheer Mag in your life just as badly as all the Downtown Boys and Speedy Ortiz fans do.
And let me tell ya, Sheer Mag are far from the only reason to be at this show. NYC’s Haram are drawing attention both for their highly energetic UK peace-punk inspired rage and for their highly political content–the band’s Arabic lyrics have apparently even attracted the notice of the US Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is not exactly a progressive move on our government’s part (and is anyone surprised?). Baltimore’s Birth (Defects) are an undoubtedly weird metallic postpunk band with a riveting sound that’s impossible to ignore. And of course, local garage-pop favorites Christi will be kicking this show off with what will sadly be their last live performance ever. If you miss this one, you’ll be kicking yourself for a long time.