is shepherd

Review: Songs For Sons – Is Shepherd

Songs For Sons is the second release from Newcastle-Based band Is Shepherd. It will be officially available on June 6th 2011 – but is available digitally now at http://isshepherd.bandcamp.com/.

While their 2008 release, Ascendez Vouz, evoked memories of Blind Melon fuelled summers and conjured up fuzzy-focused soundbites of Stone Temple Pilots, Songs for Sons takes a step back into the shadows and offers an ever-so-slightly colder, ever-so-slightly bleaker view of parenthood, maturity, and the band’s hopes for the future.

Like that last, empty Friday at school before the summer break begins, Songs for Sons slashes away at a blanket of sadness, pain and fear with a gleaming blade forged from the searing beauty of what your world is about to explode into.

So it’s bleak, but it’s also hopeful. And yes, it’s cold but it’s also warm. And y’know, it does have a gorgeous stillness, but by the time we reach the last track, Generations (Reprise), there’s a brand new and relentless pace to it.

Over the six tracks, it changes, it sweeps, and it lurches. Not clumsily, but with a maturity and a drive that hints at the band’s new lineup and new mix of tastes and experiences.

For that alone, Songs for Sons is worth a download now – and it’s definitely worth picking up a CD on June 11th.

But what’s more important – for the north at least – is that this album represents yet another hugely valuable addition to Newcastle’s ever-growing herd of acoustic/alternative/ambient/folk rock thoroughbreds.

And with a name like Is Shepherd, there’s really nothing stopping these guys from being the ones to step up and guide the flock.

By Barry Bell on May 10, 2011


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