The songwriting, playing, chemistry and urgency inherent in “Big Love” is close to perfection. Ragged, beautiful perfection. If someone asks you for a representation of Southern rock and roll music, play them this album. This is simply great music. These songs pack a punch with outstanding musicianship and soothe the soul with intelligent lyrics.
Few groups nowadays can combine lyrical depth with musical prowess, but the The Sheyana Band excel at both. Their appeal will cross age groups, gender, geographic location, and social status.
They are the independent band that even your mainstream-listening friends will love. Their music has an infectiousness, yet is incredibly deep. And with a head full of momentum and a growing mantle of critical accolades and accomplishments, The Sheyana Band have just released a most gratifying album.
When the opening title track kicks in, you’ll notice that the song construction is smart, the melody is fat, the turns of phrases are sharp, and the choruses rise under their own volition, as opposed to the forced action of the pop music trash.
On “Blindside”, the sound is full, which gives guitarist Scott Mainwaring the freedom to stretch his legs in many segments. In fact Scott forms part of the backbone of The Sheyana Band’s sound.
His guitar playing features some of the most tasteful tones and phrasing I’ve heard in rock-orientated music in the last few years. Something he quickly showcases on the bouncy crunch of “Honesty”. “Keep The Change” makes the switch to a mid-tempo Americana-type sound – all melodic and heartfelt.
After which time, the beautiful strung ballad, “Mr Jackson” makes its appearance, to put you in a reflective and dreamy mood. It’s also solo time for Mr. Mainwaring, who puts the cherry on top of the song.
The music of The Sheyana Band may be infectious, but for the full-bodied experience, you must delve into the story of their songs, and the voice of Sheyana Wijesingha, and how they intertwine. And boy do they blend well on “Stories”, one of the album’s truly outstanding songs. If not the outright best song of them all. Over and above Sheyana’s stunningly emotive voice, Scott’s guitar is simply sublime here.
“The Middle” against puts the tiger in the sonic tank, with an intense and driving forward momentum. The second album standout comes in the shape of the bluesy “Soul Sister”, with its slow rhythmic groove and Sheyana’s gritty croon.
At this point, the album has moved into overdrive, and The Sheyana Band set fire to the upbeat rocker, “Your Will”. “Borderline” presents the third outright album highpoint – superb guitar tones from Scott, which is no longer a surprise, as well as great lead vocals and harmonies all-round.
Gentle and beautiful, there’s a powerful simplicity in the emotional “On My Mind”, where once more Sheyana truly shines with her vocal nuances. “Happy To Be” is one of those Southern rock songs that simply demand to be played at top volume.
If its rock n’ roll you crave, then look no further than “Red Girl” and the album closer “Roll Like a Rock”, which will satisfy your need for over-driven guitars and soaring choruses. The Sheyana Band are in a class by themselves, proving you can do things your own way and do it successfully. “Big Love” is a record that is certainly one of the “must haves” of the year, and one that is sure to draw in listeners from all over the world.
When is the last time you heard a real southern rock band? You know, those Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Thorogood type bands that just got the rhythm and blues coursing through their souls. If it seems like that style of music has long been forgotten, look no further than The Sheyana Band and their incredible new single Big Love to remind you just how good it is.
The track starts off with four syncopated hits that perfectly encapsulate the sound of the song and are repeated frequently throughout to great effect. These hits then lead into a bluesy riff that chugs the entire track along and really gives Big Love that southern vibe. The guitar work is top notch, and the rhythm is steady as can be, but the real star of the song is lead singer Sheyana and her captivating voice. They call themselves The Sheyana Band for a reason and it’s not hard to figure out why.
Sheyana’s voice has soulful presence that’s powerful yet gentle in a completely unique way. There’s this undeniable charm about the way she sings that feels so inherently natural that it immediately puts the spotlight on her. Whether it be with a subdued attitude in the verses or a looser and more open feel in the choruses, Sheyana’s voice is a force that will not be ignored.
The Sheyana Band have crafted a masterful blend of rock and blues with Big Love and it’s an absolute delight to listen to. The song swings with its infectious rhythms and the exemplary guitar work adds just the right amount southern rock and charm. Sheyana’s voice is an experience in and of itself, and she pairs so effortlessly and harmoniously with the music. All of this makes Big Love a song you can’t afford to miss.
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DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
Books and covers…I never learn. Then again you have to hold the band responsible to some degree. If they offer up a cover of themselves dressed like a crazed Mariachi band from The Three Amigos, conclusions are going to be jumped to. Thankfully what lies within is miles away from the image conjured by the cover and Big Love is in fact a deft and sometimes delicate blues collection.
Kicking off with the title track itself, this opening salvo sets the scene perfectly, growling, grooving rhythm and blues, the perfect combination of the slick and the raw-edged, of modernity and tradition. From there they explore any number of blues byways and rocking side roads. Mr Jackson is a cool ballad, all spacious deliveries and emotive moodiness, Happy To Be struts and swaggers and Soul Sister is as dark and delicious as its name suggests.
There is a wonderful blend of accessibility and authentic rootsiness that puts me in mind of Fleetwood Mac. Not the early purist blues of the Peter Green era nor the slick Californian supergroup schtick of the Buckingham/Nicks successes but that often overlooked transitional period between the two when Christine Perfect was the star of the show. A much more interesting period and as a reference point it tells you all you need to know about The Sheyana Band‘s deft weaving of generic honesty and their ability to pen commercial hits.