Indie band Sheppard releases debut studio album

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Jessica Sieling , Managing Editor

The Australian indie band Sheppard recently made their first studio debut with their album, Bombs Away. Although the album lacks some coherency and some sophistication, there are still some great songs on the album, great potential for the band and room to grow into their own sound.

The band is partially focused on siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard with other members include Michael Butler, Jason Bovino and Dean Gordon. The band formed in 2009, starting as a duo with only George and Amy Sheppard, and only added the other four members in 2011. Bombs Away was released in July of 2014.

The album starts off with the pleasant and exciting upbeat Geronimo. For anyone who has heard the song on the radio in the last few months can tell you how catchy it is and how easily it can get stuck in your head. Although the words can get a little repetitive, with “Say Geronimo!” being the main words of the chorus, all in all, it is a fan-favorite. It is fun to listen to and a strong start to the album. It’s a good song and has been called a “bona fide indie-pop gem” by critic Alex Lai.

The next track, Something’s Missing, is a nice, slower song that flowed pleasantly after Geronimo. There was something vaguely familiar with the chorus, but the lyrics are simple and the song is beautifully sung. Also- I am a very big sucker for nice harmonies and this song has beautiful ones.

The third song Let Me Down Easy is easily one of my favorites on the album. Just the opening notes of the song automatically catch your attention and it is a song you find yourself swaying to without meaning to. Again, the lyrics are simple but they fit the feel of the song- a sad bittersweet song with the nice lyrics “Oh, let me down easy, let me down easy, whoa, before you go.” The song is relaxing and enjoyable.

The next song is nice, but not my favorite. These People is easy-going and a little slow. The lyrics are subpar but overall it is an okay song.

The next track is my first major problem with the album. Having two lead signers is always a cool way to change up and keep the album from sounding monotonous but this song just really does not work with the album. Sung solely by Amy Sheppard, it just does not fit with the easy-going and relaxing feel and instead sounds kind of like a bad Britney Spears song. The lyrics are a little whiny with phrases like “I was just an apple that you chewed till you through the core” and a chorus that starts with “Cause you’re a grade playa, a fighter, a hater/ And I know better than to waste it all on you”. Although I really like Amy- and she totally has really cool blue hair, if anyone wanted to know- I wish that the song were more indie and less pop Top-40.

The next song, also sung by Amy, is called Smile. Although it is not my favorite, it is much better than the previous song. The lyrics are cute and the song is upbeat and fun. It fits more with the rest of the album with the background music and the beats. It is not the greatest song, but it is relaxed and enjoyable.

The Best Is Yet To Come is a refreshing song that goes back to the earlier theme of the album. Although the chorus is a little cliché with “All this emptiness has left me feeling numb/ But it’s darkest right before the sun” the other lyrics are nice with the opening lines “Take me to a different place/ Where love is not illusion based/ And fear is just a word they can define.” The vocals are good, with George singing the majority but with a nice bridge sung by Amy. The song is slow but works well.

The next track is, once again, not my favorite. This Electric Feeling has a nice rhythm but lacks some depth. Amy’s vocals are good, but the song does not work well with the flow of things.

Although the next track, Find Someone, starts out kind of creepy with a half- whispered, low-sung lyrics, it turned out to be one of the better songs on the album. The chorus is not anything special but it’s fun to sing and entertaining enough, making a nice glam-rock song.

The tenth song, however, is another one of my favorites on the album. Lingering is a sweet love song. The vocals are soft and tranquil and the lyrics are adorable, especially in the chorus: “Oh I’ll be waiting holding my ground/ ‘Cause I know you’ll be coming around/ I could take a blow from cupid’s bow if it helps you find me baby/ Oh I’ll just stay here lingering for you.” Lingering is nice and helps bring back the pleasant tone from the beginning of the album.

Halfway to Hell is most likely the attempted power rock song of the album, especially with the cliché Western-sounding guitar intro. The song sounds weirdly familiar and to be honest, I thought that it was a cover at first. Amy’s vocals are strong and pretty, but the song with random and does not fit in well.

The album ends with duet by George and Amy- Flying Away. In my opinion, this was probably not the best song to end with. It lacks depth and is not very distinctive. Usually albums try to start strong and end strong, but Flying Away is rather forgettable and sounds like it should have been somewhere in the middle instead of the ending song.

Overall, the album could have been better. Their better songs- Geronimo, Let Me Down Easy and Lingering– prove that the band has talent and has potential. But I think it is safe to say they are still fighting for their own sound. The majority of the songs all sonund familiar, but the album overall is not coherent. Some of the songs don’t all work together and having two lead singers sometimes confuses the tone of the album. I like the band, and I like some of the music they came out with, I just wish that the album sounded more like an album and less like a mix-tape of multiple bands.