1996: Scheer - “Shea”

Resurrecting Scheer for this post makes me feel a little guilty for exploiting another casual acquaintance from my musical past. But is this elitist discomfort with exposing ‘secret’ music fetishes? Or is it the suspicion that the teenage bands are best left alone? By the time I’ve finished posing the intriguing questions that have ideally hooked the reader and brainstormed the substance of this Delorean post, the opening drums and squalling guitars of “Shea” make it clear why I still listen to this song for kicks and want to share some of the energy with the rest of the world.

The fact is, if you like your guitars as chunky as snicker-bars and your female rock vocalists on the wispy side of Joan Jett, this is a serviceable rock ‘n’ roll for you. Equilibrium doesn’t have to be a strange concept for loud music when it’s harnessed to a sturdy set of players like the members of Scheer. The presence of two guitarists doing their utmost doesn’t seem to have put off the drummer, who works harder than ever to integrate all those not quite there yet post-rock rhythms. The rolling breakers of chords in “Shea’’’s first few seconds represent the best that Scheer can offer: powerful and hypnotic but still going somewhere (in only 2 minutes, 22 seconds).

On the album that “Shea” opens (called Infliction — surely an angsty title if ever there was one), there were some Emo moments, but reportedly Scheer were just a great live band who convinced anyone who saw them play to take a second look. They were only a few innovations removed from early 90s Shoegaze bands like Lush and Slowdive, and they moved between heavily produced spiky pop hardcore and that full dreamy sound. They may have been meat and potatoes average in their song-writing ambitions, but the impact of the odd storming song is a tribute to the sounds that 90s folk were immersed in and obsessed with. Though I wasn’t there the first time round, I still return to 60s garage bands for a similar energetic fix that feels oddly like nostalgia. In fact it’s a collective nostalgia for the miraculous moments when rich, deep sounds came tumbling out of people’s instruments by chance, eventually defining the sounds of an era. It’s as if we all know what that felt like, and could happily leave it on repeat — plugged into the flow of something new. Audrey Gallagher of Scheer is now doing vocals on top of dance tracks that sound like Ibiza compilation picks. Apparently Eurodance is back in the clubs. Everything comes in cycles — even the things you don’t want to hear twice.

DeLorean

There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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