US Press Release - 4th March 2011
Sharp Practise – Banging rocks, not heads
Sharp Practise is a quintessentially English group. As befits a record mixed and mastered by former Gorillaz producer Fran Ashcroft, there is something particularly quirky about this, the band’s third album – ‘Banging The Rocks’.
Yet this is a serious record. ‘Banging The Rocks’ is the culmination of a process that has already produced two stellar records and garnered Sharp Practise a legion of fans worldwide.
And it’s also a record that will propel the band from a loyal but niche audience to far wider acclaim.
It’s a record that takes from the great tradition of Anglo-Saxon songwriters and gives it a new twist. Inspired, as much as anyone, by Fleetwood Mac, you can hear echoes of the some of the great low-key rock moments of the past 40 years throughout ‘Banging The Rocks’.
Instead of trying to blow the listener away with walls of guitar feedback, wailing vocals or power riffs, this album draws the listener in with a subtle, understated sound, intelligent lyrics and a narrative that makes it stand together as a whole, rather than a collection of songs. In fact, it’s everything that the best English rock, pop and indie has always been: unique, clever, lyrical.
The talented four-piece is, of course, not new to the game. Its first two albums – ‘Hiya’ and ‘Radiocity’ – gained great critical acclaim and earned the band a group of loyal fans.
On the back of these records, the group has played famous venues up and down the country, from London’s Troubadour – where Jimi Hendrix played many of his earliest gigs – to Liverpool’s Cavern Club, famous around the world for being the venue where the Beatles cut their teeth.
‘Radiocity’, released in 2005, was a heavier affair than the latest effort, but it meant that Sharp Practise had started to go global. 200,000 copies of the sophomore album were released in France, while support also gathered in Canada and Sweden.
But ‘Banging The Rocks’ is likely to be a step even further. It is the kind of record that can only come from paying your dues over the years, from absorbing the great music of the past and from having a unique ear for new sounds.
‘Banging The Rocks’ is going to appeal to Sharp Practise’s already adoring fans. But it’s also going to win it a whole lot more.