This Canadian combo have the happy knack of writing songs that manage to sound fresh and vital while simultaneously making you think you’re playing a collection of bangers from the 70s. They make it look easy and their mostly mid-tempo shuffling rockers sound deceptively simple but that’s just a skilful sleight of hand.
Main singer Ewan Currie has one of those voices that if sampled would have to be listed under ‘Classic Rock’. He could sing the index to a garden catalogue and you’d still be thinking it was pretty cool. Coincidentally there’s a track with a gentle vibe here titled ‘Mama Was A Gardener’.
Opening track ‘Here I Am’ is typical of their approach, starting with an innocuous chugging shuffle, the singer managing to extract a lilting melody from a range of about three notes. Before you know it there’s crashing chords, slide guitar and a high-pitched chorus with massed backing vocals, interspersed with the sort of clever guitar fills from Jimmy Bowskill that make you want to reach for your own guitar.
‘Find The Truth’ provides more of the same, featuring another of their trademarks, effortlessly flowing dual lead lines that glide above the rollicking beat. In ‘Follow Your Heart’ they tip their hat to the late great JJ Cale in an excellent homage down to the double tracked vocal and tub thumping of the drums. The guitar playing is just sublime. These Sheepdogs are some cool cats.