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The Sheepdogs Announce UK Tour

  • Published in News

Quadruple Juno Award-winning Canadian quintet, The Sheepdogs, have today announced a string of UK shows throughout June and July, including a headline set at Borderline, London on June 29, 2018 (full dates below). News of the dates arrive following the band’s recent sell-out UK tour and in support of their new album, Changing Colours, which is out now via Dine Alone Records (The Dandy Warhols, City & Colour).

Proud purveyors of guitar-driven modern-day retro rock, The Sheepdogs have expanded their instrumentation on Changing Colours to encompass more styles and hues, enhancing their beef-and-boogie riffs and rhythmic shuffles. Of ‘Changing Colours, the band notes; “This album has a much wider range of sounds on it: trombone, clarinet, latin percussion, pedal steel, fiddle and banjo all make an appearance. The title, Changing Colours, really lends itself to these different sounds on the record”.

The Sheepdogs have crafted a bustling back-catalogue of albums during the course of their career - including a Patrick Carney (Black Keys) produced album - notching up three no.1 singles and earning four Juno awards along the way. Following in the footsteps of Canadian rock legends including Neil Young, The Band and The Guess Who with a bold take on classic guitar rock and polished retro sound, The Sheepdogs came to prominence as the first and only unsigned band to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, subsequently leading to a performance on Jimmy Fallon, a support tour with fans of the band, Kings of Leon, and festival dates including the likes of Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. Furthermore, the band have previously shared the stage with Paul Rodgers, lead vocalist of Bad Company and Free, won the approval of David Crosby and Steven Stills and performed at Petty Fest alongside the likes of The Strokes, The Black Keys and The Hold Steady.


UK Tour Dates

23 Jun | Black Deer Festival, Enridge Park, UK

25 Jun | Globe, Cardiff, UK

26 Jun | Fleece, Bristol, UK

27 Jun | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK

29 Jun | Borderline, London, UK

30 Jun | Actress & Bishop, Birmingham, UK

02 Jul | Workman’s Club, Dublin, IRE






Dead Heavens - Whatever Witch You Are

  • Published in Albums

Dead Heavens represents something of a sideman supergroup as it features frontman and guitarist Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Rival Schools, Vanishing Life, Quicksand), guitarist Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica), bassist Nathan Aguilar (Cults), and drummer Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another). The punk and hardcore backgrounds contrast the melodic rock on offer on Whatever Witch You Are. Billed as a blues rock band in the vein of Cream and The Rolling Stones, Dead Heavens have a stoner rock sonic setup with big drums, distorted low end desert rock guitars and clean, melodic vocals.

The result is a mixed bag. When it works, the bands groove locks in and the tunes are psychedelic and sunny. Unfortunately the song-writing is not consistent with the stoner setup. Schreifels sings like Kelly Jones, and through much of the record Dead Heavens sound like Stereophonics – sans the production budget. The songs that explicitly mention illicit drugs are the most interesting. ‘Adderall Highway’ and ‘Away From The Speed’ have an early Kings of Leon vibe. They suit both the vocal melody and stoner groove perfectly. The eight minute long ‘Gold Tooth’ rocks with a heft of early Sabbath and the inventiveness of Led Zeppelin, gifting Dead Heavens a similarity with Sweden’s hard rock heavyweights, Witchcraft.

When this band click, they are everything you want from a hard rock band. It’s the slower numbers that let them down. Heavy distorted guitars can’t play ballads or contemplative slow burners except in the hands of masters, and masters they are not. ‘Silver Sea’ and ‘Experience’ are monotonous dirges as they appear here but either would work better as an acoustic song. Imagine Rubber Soul or Led Zeppelin III played by L7.  Such lapses in judgement bring the album down but it’s ‘Bad Luck Child’s imitation of a Stereophonics B-side that really grates.

The calibre of the musicians in Dead Heavens raises expectations for this record and it fails to meet them. However, as a debut album, Whatever Witch You Are has a handful of great songs and provides a solid jumping-off point for the band. If they can produce more coherent tunes for album number two, they could really make an impact.

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