The Sherlocks’ second album ‘Under Your Sky’ is pointless. They’re trying to make music for the masses without fully understanding what that means, and this album inevitably crumbles under the weight of its own lack of imagination.
A perfect storm of musical style and the part of the world they come from meant that The Sherlocks received much more excitable attention than they arguably should have done when they were up-and-coming. Whilst they have demonstrated some delusions about their own importance in the past, deep down they’d probably agree that the hype train got a bit out of control.
Their debut album ‘Live For The Moment’ started with a couple of really exciting and vibrant tracks, before completely careering off a cliff. Their journey had undoubtedly been fast-tracked rather than allowed to grow organically, so a dodgy debut was probably par for the course.
‘Under Your Sky’ is unforgivable though. I mean, Jesus Christ. How can you make 11 versions of the same song? You’d think one of them might be different accidentally. They say a stopped clock is right twice a day- this particular clock has fallen off the back of a lorry and been pulverised by oncoming traffic.
The Sherlocks aren’t kids anymore and shouldn’t be treated as such. Proper musicians shouldn’t be making music with so little substance. There’s a largely agreeable formula for making energetic, festival crowd-pleasing indie music, but that formula has been diluted here beyond recognition. It’s tasteless, odourless and colourless.
The lead single, ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’….honestly. It sounds like a fucking Take That song. What self-respecting rock band sings about going to Starbucks?
Each track just drifts into the next like you’re being fed bowl after bowl of plain porridge. The drums follow the same pattern in EVERY song and there’s no adventure in the guitar work to speak of. The title track stands out, if only because it sounds like they found an old parka with a lukewarm early-2000s Oasis offcut in it and put it out as their big closing number.
Many decent bands have got off to a rocky start with a naive debut album, but like a wounded animal they’ve got up and started fighting back. ‘Under Your Sky’ is the sound of The Sherlocks playing dead and waiting for us all to go away.
Sometimes you’ve got to be cruel to be kind, and The Sherlocks need to decide if they’re going to take this band thing seriously or not. Nobody has ever made music of any merit on autopilot- and if they don’t get out of that comfort zone on the next record, they’re for the scrapheap.