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Time For A Re-Evaluation, I Think
on 9 November 2003
Shed 7 have recently anounced that they will split after one last tour in December, having struggled to have their voices heard since the supposed demise of Britpop at the end of the nineties. Never a critic's darling, their press coverage got increasingly negative (and sparse) over the years. This is a shame as they have more to offer then they are given credit for.
First album "Change Giver" was perhaps a more interesting debut then similar albums made by the sometimes more acomplished likes of Cast, the Bluetones and Sleeper with tracks like "Long Time Dead" and "On An Island With You". "Speakeasy" has (rightfuly) become something of a classic since its use in phone adverts. "Dolphin" and "Mark" are less ebjoyable, but balad "Ocean Pie" stands out as one of the best ballads of the era, dealing with a (hopefully outsiders view point) of heroin adiction.
"A Maximum High" stands up less well (despite having some of their biggest hits e.g. "Going For Gold") because of a desire to fit in to the whole "Noelrock" "scene", sounding very much like an album that could only have been made 95/96 (not that that does not have its charms!). None of the songs from that album are anything less then enjoyable but only "Where Have You Been Tonight" and the fast paced ballad "On Standby" truly stand out.
In 1998 the Sheds released their best album "Let It Ride", a more mature album, with as much experimentation as one could realisticly hope for with a band like the Sheds. Shame then that they released the albums only duff track, "She Left Me On Friday", a very poor attempt at the previous years hits "Song 2" and "Richard III". Nonetheless, it was one of the biggest hits. The other tracks from that album, including their acknoledged classic "Chasing Rainbows", are probably the best tracks here.
The new tracks "Disco Down" and "High Hopes" are OK, but get rather lost among the crowd here (the later never even being released). Since this collection, driving force Paul Banks left, a new guitarist joined, and the band soldiered on with "If The Truth Be Told" an OK album with some standout tracks ("If the music don't move ya" "Cry For Help") that failed to click with the 21st century public, the band have gone on many, many tours, and recentle announced their decision to split up after the next tour (at least until the inevitable "Britpop here and Now Tour" from around 2012).
So there you have it. Ten Years. This singles collection, along with some more daring album tracks, shows the Sheds to be a band much better then their awful name. Certainly much better then the constant NME derrision would suggest (why slag these off and praise the works of the terminally dull Coldplay). They're a bit MOR, but whats wrong with that? Oh, and catch them on this final tour if you can (great live band!)