Nothing gets me out of the doldrums like a new and exciting Tampa Bay band. It’s like the print-and-paper aroma of a new CD as you open it (or, for you snobby purists out there, taking your fingernail along the opening of a vinyl album).
Hearing the Sheaks’ new songs, recorded in the past few months and up on their Myspace, were like opiates for me during a crappy time, and I want to thank Hunter Oswald and Eric Napier for inviting me into their practice space/studio at Hunter’s house. It was a pleasantly cozy respite from a hellaciously rainy night.
Hunter asked me as many questions as I asked them, even challenging me to come up with my favorite Police song, which I still can’t determine (Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic? Can’t Stand Losing You? When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around? Aggh!)
Based in St. Pete, the guys play loud, tight, prettily (sometimes) and get you by the collar with snappy hooks — and their special style of rock doesn’t smack of a million cliches.
From what I could tell — and I hope I’m not being overly optimistic again — these musicians have the modesty, meticulous hard work and lively, fun musicianship that make up a truly great band.
Fans of British Invasion rock, Guided by Voices, Pavement and a million other things will dig ’em.
And, Sheaks, I hope people book you crazy busy in the coming months and don’t prove me wrong! ;-)
Here are a couple of photos from my interview with them.
Lyrics to we Can Be Free
Hunter as taskmaster