The Sheepdogs — Outta Sight (Warner Music)
Whoever’s responsible for this frankly bizarre band name is barking mad.
Believe it or not, The Sheepdogs aren’t a weather-beaten, self-reflective bunch of bearded Welsh folkies.
And you read that right: it’s Waiting For Your Call — not Waiting For Your Ball — that pops up four tracks in.
The Sheepdogs play retro-fuelled rock, not fetch.
And if a dire name is our pet hate, then the kick-ass Outta Sight should cement these super cool Canadians as the only new band you need to know.
New? Well, not so much.
This is album number seven from the Saskatoon quintet — the first unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine…way back in 2011.
In fact, The Sheepdogs landed on Rushonrock’s Gigs Of The Year list in 2016 following a stunning show at Newcastle’s The Cluny.
And we’ve always had a soft spot for this super-talented 10-legged beast.
Even if the name sucks.
The Sheepdogs’ music is — and always has been — on a different level.
Imagine Lynyrd Skynyrd duelling with Thin Lizzy and Status Quo.
The bluesy, groovy, boozy riffs come thick and fast.
There’s funky, fancy disco beats and driving, dizzying Southern boogie.
But most of all there’s an overriding sense of optimism, joy and adventure.
Find The Truth is a fantastic example of the band’s genre-bending brilliance at its addictive best.
And I Wanna Know You sounds like Foreigner (Hot Blooded, anyone?) getting down with The Doobie Brothers.
So Far Gone could be Steve Harley covering Kenny Rogers as The Sheepdogs mine the very best of the 70s and 80s to craft that reassuringly familiar sound.
But set closer Roughrider ’89 is the most remarkable and expansive song here.
Fans of Clapton, Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Allman Brothers and more will love everything about this four-minute explosion of countryfied blues rock.
The Sheepdogs? More like the top dogs.