BUY THE ALBUM: Buy World I Understand and UK tour tickets, including a homecoming date at O2 Academy Sheffield on Saturday, May 21, with support from The Covasettes and The Warehouse Club – visit thesherlocksmusic.co.uk.
The Sherlocks entered the UK charts at number six with 2017 debut album Live for the Moment and followed up with 2019 album Under Your Sky, which made number 20.
Their third offering has been released in a week which finds it up against new releases also from Years and Years and Miles Kane, plus five entries by Meat Loaf, following his death last week, and also records by Ed Sheeran and Adele.
But the official midweek UK chart has The Sherlocks at number nine.
And, when the final chart positions are announced on Friday, World I Understand deserves to be in the top ten, says its hugely respected hitmaker producer Dave Eringa.
He has worked in the music industry for more than 30 years and has scored number ones with acts with the likes of Manic Street Preachers, as recently as last year.
World I Understand by frontman Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, lead guitarist Alex Procter and bassist Trent Jackson should be another smash, he predicts.
“It’s earned the right to be a top 10 album,” Dave told me. “The work the band has done is inspiring, along with the connection they have with their fans. There is a real love there.”
They recorded the album over three weeks at the world famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire in July 2020, but it was not the first time Dave had worked with the Crook brothers, having previously produced their 2016 single Will You Be There?
He said this time he noticed ‘a huge progression in their confidence and recording studio literacy’.
He added: “Kiaran has stepped up a level in his song writing; he has broken through another barrier. All the tunes are really catchy. He is an incredible writer. His demos on his iPhone sound way better than any demos have the right to sound.
“Brandon is a brilliant drummer too, I remember thinking on the first day, this kid can really play. As a producer, you want a band who know their sound. Then, once the direction is set, you can help them take it to another level.”
While Dave had worked with the Bolton upon Dearne Crook brothers before, it was the first time in the studio for Alex and Trent, who had only joined the band a few months before.
“They both did really well,” said Dave. “Trent is incredibly young, and you could tell he was a little nervous at the start, but he played great all the way through, and I think Alex had been waiting for an opportunity like this for some time. He was really on it with his sound and really open to suggestions.”
He added: “For the four of them to finish everything in that short time, straight out of lock down and with not many rehearsals was impressive.”
While other acts sometimes record tunes in their bedrooms and on computers, Dave described said The Sherlocks visit to Rockfield as “a proper old-fashioned recording session by a northern band,” adding that “it was like the 1990s again.”
However, while they got the job done, their time in Monmouthshire still went to the wire, finishing at 7am on the last day with the band recording a short intro to the album.
“I think we were all going completely insane by then,” laughed Dave. “And then my car broke down on the way home, which was a little fraught. I had all my equipment in the back and a tyre went.”
He added: “There were no arguments during the stay, but there were a few times I asked the lads to turn the music down at 4am. I have to admit I wouldn’t be able to do the hours we did if I had been drinking like them.”
Dave credits groups like The Sherlocks with achieving success at a difficult time in the music industry.
“It’s the worse time ever for up and coming bands trying to make a living from streaming and playing live It’s not’s easy, it really isn’t,” he explained.
Dave has worked with Manic Street Preachers for nearly 30 years, including on their album Everything Thing Must Go in 1996. He also produced This is My Truth Tell Me Yours in 1998 and the first number single of the century, The Masses Against the Classes in January 2000. Their most recent collaboration was on their most recent number one record The Ultra Vivid Lament last year.
He also toured with the band as their keyboard player in the early Nineties, which he says has made him a better producer. “That is where I caught the passion for capturing the sound of live music in the studio,” he explained.
“To be on the road and experience being on stage with a band was exhilarating. I hope that has influenced how I make records now. The trick is finding a way to make that energy and excitement that you have at a gig come out of a little stereo.”
Few know Rockfield Studios better than Dave Eringa, who first visited in 1993. As well as working with the Manics and The Proclaimers, he remembers being there at the same as The Stone Roses’ legendary 13 month session recording their second album between 1992 and 1994.
He recalled: “Everyone was waiting to know what their second record was going to sound like. It had been such a long wait. I remember going over to the Coach House studios to sit in the reverb chamber and quietly listen to what was going on. Bill Price was mixing the record and I heard the riff to Love Spreads for the first time. It was so exciting.”
Dave says that, for The Sherlocks, a grunge themed song called Plastic Heart was the one that evolved the most when they were in the studio.
“I was surprised they wanted to go where they went with it, but I was very happy to take them there, as it plays into quite a lot into my sensibilities,” he explained.
“The latest single Sorry also developed too, but I think it finished where they expected it too. Plastic Heart was different. I could be wrong, but I think they were surprised by how it turned out.”
The first single Falling has already been a radio smash and featured on both ITV and BBC television during the World Cup. Eringa said: “That one is a real tune, I recognised it was going to be special straight away. It was already great on the demo.”
Describing other tracks, Dave said: “We used strings on Falling and Games You Play by violinists who I have worked with on the Manics’ records. They gave us some lovely arrangements. The boys were buzzing when they came down and to hear how the songs evolved from where they started on acoustic guitars.”
Dave has more projects planned with Manic Street Preachers and The Proclaimers. He has also worked with Liverpool rising star Jamie Webster at Rockfield, who he says, like The Sherlocks, “can sell tickets” even with only limited radio airplay.
World I Understand by The Sherlocks is out now. The Sherlocks play O2 Academy Sheffield on Saturday 21 May 2022, with support from The Covasettes and The Warehouse Club. More at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk.