The Sheepdogs - Changing Colours album review

Retro boogie for the here and now from The Sheepdogs

The Sheepdogs - Changing Colours

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The Sheepdogs - Changing Colours

The Sheep[dogs - Changing Colours

1. Nobody
2. I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be
3. Saturday Night
4. Let It Roll
5. The Big Nowhere
6. I Ain’t Cool
7. You Got To Be A Man
8. Cool Down
9. Kiss The Brass Ring 
10. Cherries Jubilee
11. I’m Just Waiting For My Time
12. Born A Restless Man
13. The Bailieboro Turnaround
14. Up In Canada
15. HMS Buffalo 
16. Esprit Des Corps
17. Run Baby Run

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Thanks to an unlikely Rolling Stone cover feature that rescued them from debt and problem drinking, Canada’s Sheepdogs have done pretty well in modern times. Even so, you suspect the five-piece would rewind the clock to their cultural sweet-spot of the early 70s in a heartbeat. 

The title Changing Colours title refers to new influences stirred into the band’s boogie-rock palette that drove 2015’s acclaimed Future Nostalgia, but the controls stay welded to a retro sound that few do better. 

Opener Nobody could be a great lost West Coast session, all brown-sounding guitar chords and fuzz-headed organ. 

Just as irresistible is the uproarious I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be, and Saturday Night with its roistering groove and clanking twin guitars (a recurring theme the band call “guitarmony”). 

Risks are taken, and pay off, such as the louche, Havana sway of The Big Nowhere and the soul bag of I Ain’t Cool, while you fully expect Phil Lynott to strike up on Kiss The Brass Ring

A spot of editing would have been wise, with a glut of instrumentals costing the 17-track collection some focus. But further acclaim surely awaits, and these dogs deserve their day

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.