Their latest single ‘Mind Pollution’ may have got plenty of people talking, but this level of attention for SHEAFS is long overdue. They have been a class band for a while now, catching the eye of This Feeling and myself a couple of months ago. The rapid increase of attention on the group is the catalyst of This Feeling crowing ‘Mind Pollution’ their TOTW, leading to it receiving airplay on Radio X.
It’s astonishing it’s taken almost two years deep into their formation to receive a reaction as mighty as this. Forming at the end of 2015, they’ve experienced a steady climb through the ranks thus far. They hail from Sheffield, and the singles they have released, to an extent, resemble the sound of acts from the city long before them, whilst not being a total copycat version of previous artists either. SHEAFS have been described as an indie rock five piece, although I’d argue their sound leads more towards the grittier rock side. Especially since the pre-mentioned This Feeling focus on backing unpredictable heavier, louder bands, who place poignant and paramount messages in their songs.
The raw intensity and dark energy of ‘Nobody’s Watching’ was what initially drew me into the claws of SHEAFS; it’s a well-known observation that many of today’s alternative groups merge into one mundane mash, but this track resists the status quo. Sinister riffs, unnerving guitar distortion & menacing vocals create a brooding atmospheric song. Several changes in tempo add scope to the song and ensure the track is not just a simple, formulaic indie number. It’s brave for a new band carving their name to release a track with eerie portentous undertones, one which will likely introduce themselves to many people like myself, but it’s so wild and addictive you cannot tear yourself away from listening. Or admiring their talent; it takes some acts years to bring out a class track whilst they’re finding their feet, and here’s SHEAFS who have managed it straight away.
‘Nobody’s Watching’ is a phenomenal track (one of four tracks on SHEAFS’ debut EP Nobody’s Watching), but ‘Mind Pollution’ somehow manages the nearly impossible feat of bettering it. Originally released back in April this year, although it has received radio play up until this point, Radio X finally elevated this track when it named it This Feeling’s TOTW on Wednesday (30th August), and gave it a spin. It features the punchy vocals present in ‘Nobody’s Watching’, which are a driving feature in all their tracks. Pace wise, ‘Mind Pollution’ is rip-roaring & energetic all the way through, and certainly displays another dimension of the sound they are possible of. It’s going to earn them comparisons to the likes of Pretty Vicious, and early Arctic Monkeys, and these are comparisons they’ll want. ‘Mind Pollution’ features well-composed, stirring lyrics – “You keep your image I’ll keep my affection, don’t need your number when I know your name” – and a reoccurring blistering riff which embodies the spirit of ferocious 00s alternative rock. Another part of the track I love is the repetition of words ‘mind pollution’ before the climax of the song; it reinforces the message of the track and creates an electrifying build up before SHEAFS repeat ‘Mind Pollution’s chorus.
SHEAFS were regular performers on This Feeling stages on 2017’s summer festival circuit. Unfortunately, Reading was the last summer event the stage will be appearing at, but if you feared that would be your last glimmering opportunity to see SHEAFS live for a while, there’s no need to fear! They’re performing a number of dates on a tour affiliated with This Feeling, and tickets can be purchased here.
All photos used were taken from SHEAFS’ Facebook page.