Bombs Away: Direct hits

A review of Australian indie group Sheppard’s debut album

Whenever you see this cover, stop and take a listen

Whenever you see this cover, stop and take a listen

Not a lot of artists have gone from zero to sixty faster than Australian indie group Sheppard, whose debut album Bombs Away has fans and critics raving about what could be in store for the future.

Formed in 2011, the six piece group consists of siblings George, Amy, and Emma Sheppard, who have all been singing and playing music together since they were kids. The band also presents Michael Butler and Jason Bovino on lead and rhythm guitar, respectively, as well as Dean Gordon on drums.

They released their debut self-titled extended play in 2012, which resulted with them receiving an ARIA Music Award nomination for the track “Let Me Down Easy.” This was the first time people began to hear about them, and it would prove to not be the last.

After Bombs Away was released last year, the band exploded onto the mainstream music scene. The album went gold, thanks in big part to its lead single “Geronimo”.

The band has already blown up big here in the US. They have opened up on tours for Keith Urban and Meghan Trainor, and have appeared on both The Today Show and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and are becoming a recurrent act on a lot of urban radio stations.

At first I was a little skeptical about reviewing the record, being someone who typically stays clear of most mainstream ‘music’ infesting the airwaves today. To tell the truth I could not have been more wrong with my initial judgment of the band.

Popping the disc into my CD player, I got a good taste of what Sheppard is all about.

The first track, “Geronimo”, is by far the band’s most popular and recognizable song. It begins with a slow tempo and gets into a catchy chorus about letting loose and just saying “geronimo” sometimes. The line “through the curtain of waterfall” means that even though you might not know what lies ahead, sometimes you just have to roll with it and be happy. Safe to say I am now one of the millions fans of this song.

Following is another big single “Somebody’s Missing”, a song about realizing that you’ve messed up, and that the person you left is the one you should be with. It keeps the same mood and tune held in the track before, and the same repetitive style that made “Geronimo” as big as it was.

Next was “Let Me Down Easy”, the song that got the band much of the early recognition on their first EP. The song has a more somber meaning despite its constant cheerful mood, similar to the first two songs. It’s basically about someone who lacks self-confidence and knows that their significant other is way out of their league, and asking them to just let them down easy, and just leave them with their pride when they decide to leave.

The fourth and final single released from the album was track six, entitled “Smile.” It keeps in style with the previous songs with its bubblegum sound and playful lyrics, but there was something about it that kept it separate from the rest. Amy Sheppard sings about the feeling of meeting someone that makes you smile and want to be with forever, something that most of us can easily relate to. The recognizable feeling, good vibe, and the fact that it’s in my head right now are why “Smile” is my favorite track off the album.

Going through the rest of the CD, I discovered that there is one song that stands out as a sleeper among those not released as singles.

The tenth track entitled “Lingering” was one I thought was good enough to have been released as another single. A duet sung by George and Amy, the song describes a couple who want nothing more than to see each other, and will just linger around until the other arrives. It’s more lyric based than the rest of the album, and stands out because of its thought-provoking content and how it eases off from the mostly pop-sounding rest of the album.

Putting the disc back in its case, I felt happy knowing that I got the opportunity to review a band like this.

The album gets an A rating from me. This is a great debut record that shows that Sheppard knows that the combination of indie and pop is their strength, and catchy, smile inducing “Geronimo” is a solid testament to that.

While the style may be different, it reminds me a bit of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, in that it is a debut album full of hits and memorable songs that totally surpasses expectations for any new band out there.

Be sure to take a listen to Sheppard’s debut album Bombs Away, you definitely won’t be disappointed!