Brooklyn is a musical hotbed and it always has been. It’s a place that experiences constant change of its urban landscape, rising rents and the steady commercialization of everything (does dollar pizza still exist in New York City?). Despite all of these issues, there are always bands coming out of the borough across the bridge that supply highly amplified rock. Featuring a few members with New England roots, The Sharp Shadows are a power trio with a sound reminiscent of ’80s alternative rock’s glory days. Their debut full length, Small Victories, off of the indie label Salieri Records is an excellent example of blisteringly rhythmic music that electrifies the ears.
Lead by North Grafton, Massachusetts, native Stephen Bailey on guitar and vocals with bassist Thomas Chalifour from Beverly, Massachusetts and Baltimore’s Zac Pless on drums, The Sharp Shadows cure those audial cravings for tunes that sound like The Replacements, Husker Du, The Lemonheads and The Jam. Small Victories features prior drummer Matt Jones on drums, who also handled the mixing and engineering duties at Woolly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, Massachusetts. The album is raw with a no-nonsense approach; nothing is being sugarcoated and nothing is being left behind. That’s the way it should be.
What makes people gravitate to the debut from The Sharp Shadows is the constant energy that flows from track to track. It never lets up with catchy riffs that stick to your soul and effervescent beats adding a backbone. Let’s gravitate even further into my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:
The lead single “Meet Me In The Middle” is one of the poppiest songs on the album; there’s a bit of an Elvis Costello meets doo-wop vibe making it a tad different than the rest. A personal favorite of mine is “Maybe I Started Something;” everything builds up to a flurry of thunderous choruses with genuine and honest lyrics. Jones and Chalifour start off “Reason To Remain” with jazzy rhythms and when Bailey starts strumming it takes the band’s sound to a whole new level.
The Sharp Shadows will be playing at Psychic Readings located on the second floor of the 95 Empire building at AS220 in downtown Providence on Saturday, May 14 with Attleboro, Massachusetts, synth rockers Cat Has Claws and Boston rock act Ian Cat & The Crimsons. The following night they’ll be celebrating the release of Small Victories at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn with the same two bands along with Radio America joining in the fray. Whether you’re heading to both shows or only one of them, pick up a copy of The Sharp Shadows’ debut album and be amazed.
Stream & Download “Meet Me In The Middle” on The Sharp Shadows’ Website: thesharpshadows.com