I saw Sheepman at the Artel on Monday night, alongside Walrus and Kingston’s own Arco. I went in with no expectations whatsoever and emerged not just pleasantly surprised but excited, to the point that I promptly went online and listened to Sheepman’s 8-track album Cold Feet In The Heat front to back. And what an album it is!
Sheepman is the project of Harley Alexander, currently based out of Halifax. Recorded mostly himself but touring as a 3-piece, Cold Feet In The Heat is hot off the presses, released February 15. The songs are mostly punchy and to the point, with “Elementary” being the only song to really break the 3 minute mark. Reverb and phaser are the dominant elements. Songs bounce between down-tempo, quiet little numbers and angst-laden, driving punk-ish tunes like “Poison Boys”, and sometimes accomplish both within two and a half minutes. “Elementary” stood out not just because of its length but also its full-band feel and great vibe. The delightful opening guitar hook sounds a bit like Beach Fossils if they actually felt some of that sunshine they write about. The whole song is fun, the vocal delivery unexpected and effective.
Sheepman are currently touring Ontario with Walrus, and will be stopping in Toronto, London, Sarnia, Guelph and Oshawa. Go check ’em out, give some Ontario love.