I'll start by listing my favorite bands of all-time, like Rob Gordon in High Fidelity.
01. The Sheila Divine / Dear Leader / Aaron Perrino solo
02. Catherine Wheel / Rob Dickinson solo
03. Pearl Jam / Eddie Vedder solo
04. Powder finger / Bernard Fanning solo
05. The Smiths / Morrissey solo
The Sheila Divine (TSD)? Yeah, they're that good. Boston and Buffalo, you are lucky to have them playing in your backyards!
You can buy the new album THE MORBS directly here: http://thesheiladivine.bandcamp.com/album/the-morbs
There's also a player on the link above if you want to listen first. End Of Tether (Track 10) may be the best song ever recorded by The Sheila Divine. Now that you know how much I love this band in all of their iterations over the years, you know that's saying a lot. The entire band sounds extremely tight on this track — especially at the end. Ryan Dolan stands out and KILLS it on drums, but the whole band is on top of their game. As the song teases before building to the final close, it made me wish the song would never end. These may be my favorite Perrino lyrics of all-time and may just be my new favorite TSD song pushing Every Year to #2.
Aaron Perrino has written some of his finest lyrics on this album, accompanied by some of this best screams! Beautiful Midnight is classic Perrino, lyrically and with his signature guitar to close out a song. Along with End Of Tether, From A Gentleman To A Lady is the other stand out track, especially if you're looking for something radio-friendly — I love everything about this song. It's Springsteen-esque. Long Way To Go has some killer lyrics: "As I bounce between my wants and my dreams of fulfillment. And never the less, how let down or depressed, I aim for brilliance." Maybe I relate to it more as an artist, but the lyrics have also been a big draw for me to TSD. Poignant, political, personal, well-thought-out, clever... Perrino is truly a hidden gem of a song writer. Aaron channels his inner Eminem on The Hand, but better! No one can out-scream-sing Perrino. I put him right there with Jimmy Gnecco of Ours.
Jim Gilbert lays down one of his best bass lines on The Hand... really crank this one up in your car or with your headphones on. Brian Charles is on his second album with TSD as guitarist and producer. If I'm hearing things correctly, We Took A Ride and The Hand showcase the dueling guitars with Charles' sound. More impressive than his guitar and other instruments is in the production of this album. This is a Perfect 10. Again, crank it up in your car if you have good speakers, but your headphones will thank you on this one.
As an artist and designer, I'm also drawn to the album art by Nicole Anguish of Daykamp Creative. Nicole really captures THE MORBS in the cover illustration. The songs tell stories, and she summed it up rather well and creatively. Even down to the art, this album is a Perfect 10. I'm also totally jealous that she got to create the album cover! Seriously though, totally happy that another artist got to work on something cool and is having success! TSD album art is on my bucket list. Anguish also just released a poster for the upcoming TSD Thanksgiving Eve show at The Sinclair. Check her out on Facebook, too!
My only one-point deduction is the re-recording of Ice Age. I believe it was originally a Sheila Divine song, but recorded by Dear Leader (Perrino's band after the brief breakup of TSD), and now finally recorded by TSD. Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the song or this version of it, but I would have preferred a totally new song instead. That said, if re-recording Dear Leader songs with The Sheila Divine is what it takes for those songs to live on and also be played live, then I'm all for it! Also, can't go wrong with Aaron screaming Ice Aaaage!
To The Sheila Divine — THANK YOU!