The opener Find Something For Me To Do When You’re Gone featuring Stevie Ann is a nice round and melodic track that is pretty mellow and still has that Britpoppy feel to it that makes The Sheer’s sound so familiar. The track is a grower and while it’s not too catchy it’s a good song to open the album with.
On With The TV On you can hear a more americana rhythm kicking in, which actually makes the song more catchy. Because The Sheer’s vocalist, Bart van Liemt, has a distinctive vocal sound that mixes very well with the band’s songwriting (especially when there’s a use of keys), they create their own sound. So even though there’s a slight shift of musical style, they still remain that recongizable sound.
Never Get That Far is a potential radio single, because it’s more uptempo and catchy. It has a good drive and the song rolls forward as it were. The song has a bit of an edge but that doesn’t hurt it. Not at all, the song even benefits from it, because it makes it sound fresher. One of the better songs on the album. And it’s followed by lead single The Devil On His Own, which already got some decent airplay around the country. It’s very rootsy and has a slight melancholic feel to it, but it has its own ways of sticking in your head. Especially the chorus is pretty infectious. The title track has a cool intro that is hard to let go once it enters your head. And the litte loop comes back all through the song which provides the catchiness. Musically it is one of the very best songs on the album and while I was a little hesitant about it at first, I think it could make a pretty successful radio single if they target the right audience.
Home is a mid-tempo song that never really gets to a point where it has a chance of becoming memorable. It’s a decent song, but it doesn’t rank among the album’s best songs. Guess It’s True What They Say however is instantly one of my favorites. Though I would’ve liked it to be a little more uptempo, the song is very nice and the passionate vocals are an extra plus.
Cruisin’ My Mind strongly reminds me of R.E.M. (in the Losing My Religion/Reveal era). Some similar hooks and also the sound just really reminds me of that, though The Sheer’s not as edgy as R.E.M. is/was. But still it’s a really cool song that could make a very decent radio single. The album continues with Bang Bang which isn’t a bad song, but it’s also a song that doesn’t really stick with me. The chorus is pretty nifty and it would most likely be a fairly cool live song. But it doesn’t really make me too excited.
The band returns with some nice hooks and riffs on Tell Me, which is also a bit more uptempo and slightly mixes the old The Sheer with the new The Sheer. It really works for them, a good example of ‘best of both worlds’. And it’s catchy as hell. If this isn’t going to be released to radio I have no idea what’s going on.
The album ends with maybe its best song. Paper Plane Pilots peeked my interest even before I heard it. I found the title intriguing and the song didn’t disappoint at all. The passionate, melancholic track gets to me on an emotional level and it’s just one of those songs you can really connect to, you know?
The Sheer might not rely as heavily on the Britpop hooks and loops that helped them break through anymore, but with “Here And Now And Long Before” they they tap into their ability to become one with the songs and provide the listener with a very personal connection to the songs. The honesty and musicality on the album makes it the band’s best and most consistent yet.