With a rare reference to Andrews Liver Salts, Getintothis’ Greg Topalian takes a listen to the Sheeps’ newest releases.
When this writer was given the task of reviewing the three bonus tracks for the Stealing Sheep album Not Real, I thought it was a cruel joke given our recent forays into the Welsh music scene. But then, we know that psychedelia is where it’s at, maaaaaan!
A discordant noise drips from the speakers before an off key waltz is disturbed by the closest thing you will get to a female Syd Barrett who litters words around the sounds. Trippy lyrics, tempo shifts and melodious sounds topped with Andrews Liver Salts effervescence, makes Mountain of Soul a weird and wonderful introduction to the sounds of Stealing Sheep. A more standard guitar intro leads us towards the Setting Sun, but normality does not remain for long. Duelling vocals pour into a chorus that is a beautiful and bizarre. “Baby I’ve been Feeling Strange,” she lilts and we have our own ideas about what might have caused the strangeness.
Setting Sun is one of those tracks that has enough though provoking sounds and shifts going on to keep the listener entertained way beyond the initial introduction. The first seconds of Liven Up, from the Sheep’s first album (2012’s Into the Diamond Sun), are intriguing, and Rebecca Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer continue to provide mystery in a song that reflects Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s more psychedelic moments and early Scouse favourites Floyd. But then, just when you’re thinking “This is damned weird” a break of wonder changes the direction of the whole song as backing vocals wash over the background bluster with a warm and welcoming waft.
Stealing Sheep are in some ways similar to an archetypal Liverpool band, if that band had been force fed LSD and placed in a field in the middle of nowhere. Heavenly Records know a thing or two about music and they obviously hear something special and different in Stealing Sheep’s sound.
We command that you have these songs as your comedown soundtrack. The cool kids will lap them up. The straights will have a bad trip. Tough on them.