ALBUM REVIEW: Under Your Sky by The Sherlocks
THE Sherlocks are storming up the official album charts this week with their new album Under Your Sky and today they get their official chart position.
BUY NOW: Under Your Sky by The Sherlocks is available in all formats at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk
Here, Richard Derbyshire takes a closer look at the South Yorkshire indie band’s second record, the follow up to top six smash Live For The Moment, which was the biggest selling debut album by any band in Britain in 2017.
Under Your Sky sees the Bolton upon Dearne four-piece move on from anthems like Chasing Shadows and Escapade that have dominated their set lists for years.
The good news is that this record retains the same upbeat guitar-fuelled melodies and harmonies while also taking on a lighter, sweeter sound. There are fewer layers of guitars, with vocals, drumbeats and catchy hooks left to look after themselves more often than before.
No doubt, this was encouraged by Midas touch producer and lead singer of the Coral James Skelly during the band’s time holed up with him at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. However, this album’s authenticity and confidence is the creation of no-nonsense frontman Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, lead guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy.
Here is a record forged from years of hard work touring their gigs up and down the country.
While keeping one foot on the ground, a sense of wide-eyed optimism runs through most songs. Infectious numbers like Dreams (one of the stand out tracks on the album), One Day and Now and Then imagine the future, while NYC (Sing It Loud) tells of seeing New York for the first time and wishing to share the experience with people back home.
Twenty three-year-old songwriter Kiaran writes lyrics and melodies about age-old hopes and quandaries, but still creates something new and exciting. Coupled with music that begins life on his acoustic guitar before the rest of the band have their say, this adds up to an album of what could be 11 timeless songs.
Magic Man, which the Bolton upon Dearne band describe as a “cousin” to their previous single Will You Be There? is still the ominous, yet bouncing track that the band first played live in America in April 2018. However, since then it has gained a sublime, slowed-down middle eight to add to the intensity of Josh Davidson’s guitar instrumental.
On Step Inside, the band draws on The Stone Roses at their melodic best, while the hooks and Brandon Crook’s precision drumming on opener I Want It All and Radio X track of the week Waiting will rattle around your head after only one or two listens.
While things have moved on, there is a bridge to the past as early versions of two numbers, Time to Go and Step Inside, were on set lists as far back as 2015 and have now been nicely re-worked for this second album.
Meanwhile, Give It All Up sees the Davidson brothers again on full backing vocals alongside Kiaran; more proof that everyone in this band helps with the heavy lifting.
While it is unlikely that The Sherlocks will abandon their upbeat three-minute bangers anytime soon, the album’s title track may point towards where they are heading next.
The song Under Your Sky edges towards a bigger, Oasis-styled anthem, but it stays tight enough to sit comfortably alongside the rest of the record. At four and a half minutes, it is the longest tune on the album. It is risky, but it works.
Ultimately, there is no hype or gimmicks here.
Against the odds in today’s music industry, killer songs and hard graft are why this group have pulled themselves up from playing the smallest pubs and clubs in Britain to academy-sized venues and beyond, including to more than 3,500 people at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester last year, and to huge crowds at Elland Road with Kaiser Chiefs in June.
It is a long way from their first gig at The Sandhill Tavern in Great Houghton and early shows at Plug and The Leadmill in Sheffield, but if this record gets the attention it deserves, it should see The Sherlocks climb even further up the ladder. This is a great people’s album from a great people’s band. Here is an album of the year.
Under Your Sky by The Sherlocks is out now. The band tour the UK in October and November including O2 Academy Leeds on 1 November and O2 Academy Sheffield on 2 November. More at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk.
Under Your Sky by The Sherlocks track listing – available in all formats at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk
I Want It All
NYC (Sing It Loud)
Time To Go
Give It All Up
Now And Then
Under Your Sky
The Sherlocks October and November tour - tickets at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk
In-store signing and acoustic shows:
11 – Huddersfield Vinyl Tap Records
12 – Manchester, Neighbourhood Festival
21 – Cardiff, Tramshed
22 – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town
23 – Nottingham, Rock City
24 – Newcastle, Boiler Shop
25 – Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
27 – Bristol, SWX
28 – Southampton, Engine Rooms
29 – Brighton, Concorde 2
31 – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
1 – Leeds, O2 Academy
2 – Sheffield, O2 Academy
3 – Birmingham, O2 Institute 2