Sheer Agony
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Sheer Agony

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sheer Agony – S/T 7?"

Sharp and sure, cunning and clever, Montreal’s Sheer Agony make sugary pop power anthems replete with a fantastic amount of hooks and an unparalleled sense of song craft. There is a certain degree of hero worship at play here (Soft Boys, Todd Rundgren), but the fervent overflow of originality pouring out of this three-piece means that words like ‘pastiche’ and ‘homage’ are useless in deciphering the idiosyncrasies of their debut 7” . After all, Rundgren was sexy but kind of stupid, solo Hitchcock was fun but a little foolish and The Soft Boys… well, that first record is pretty fucking perfect.

Rather than wrapping their songs in reverb or soaking them some other lo-fi fuzz, Sheer Agony exude a great confidence in using clean tones and crafty, time-honoured recording tricks. Along with their well-timed hands and tuned-in ears, the crisp sonic palette allows for singer Jackson Macintosh’s songwriting to shine with all due shininess.

On paper, his lyrics leave something to be desired. There are no aphorisms, no great knowledge or deep wisdom to be imparted per se; but that’s more of a compliment than a criticism. Despite being based around banal and/or vapid details (take-out szechuan, lost keys, blood-filled supersoakers), Macintosh is able to convey a complex sense of post-modern ennui through a series of mini-narratives that are both sympathetic and amusing. It’s a great example of Horatian satire: a delight to the senses that offers a new and peculiar sense of perspective. - Southern Souls

"Sheer Agony"

What a surprise Sheer Agony are, their self-titled 7-inch mimicking a cup of wine turning to blood as you drink it, then back to wine again. The backbone of their sound is a more outgoing brand of Clash-style punk, or at least post-punk, but their perfectly planned shifts and lurches hit the ear more like early Scritti Politti or Joggers (extra points for eliciting my old Portland faves), and their instrumentation is far more twangy than anything John Q. Strummer usually fucks with. I like this a fuckin’ lot, if you must know. These sudden breaks into spindly arpeggios and glittery yet eerie riffs belie the fairly innocent nature of the melodious vocals. Different than just about every modern-era band you’re listening to, I’d be willing to wager, even if it IS only the warbling sense of drunkenness setting it apart. I always find it fascinating when kids with new ideas jump amps-first into punk waters, and I love where Sheer Agony go with it. A nice surprise in a genre undernourished of hype. - Tiny Mix Tapes


Sheer Agony is kind of like Chris Elliot’s character in Cabin Boy. Stick with me here. While other bands in Montreal set sail on the choppy seas of punk, garage rock, and harsh noise, these elegant fellows toss on their powdered wigs and dip from an entirely different pool. Zipping out off-kilter pop songs in the tradition of The Soft Boys, dB’s, and Homosexuals, their music strips away the scuzz and aims straight for the sweet spot. This week sees the release of Sheer Agony’s debut 7” from Fixture Records, so on top of an interview with frontman Jackson MacIntosh, the band decided to include the premiere of their music video and a specially compiled mix. - Noisey - Music by VIce

"Check out Montreal's Sheer Agony and Each Other"

Sheer Agony only have two songs on their Bandcamp page, but both are pretty great and you can stream/download them below. It's nervy pop, big on melody and packing a lot into a short running time, much the way groups like the dB's, Soft Boys and the Sex Clark Five did in the early '80s. I want to hear more. - Bill Pearis - Brooklyn Vegan


Sheer Agony 7" EP (Fixture Records)
Sheer Agony "The Unruly Sisters" EP (Fixture Records)



Sheer Agony is a band that makes things difficult for itself. They only record to tape, they keep the songs as short as the song will allow, and each song should have a narrative (however oblique that narrative may be). The band began in early 2011 and since then they've toured Canada and played shows festivals such as Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, Sled Island, and have played in New York City. They have a 7" single and a cassette EP out on Fixture records and an album, almost completed, that's trying to find the sweet spot between Todd Rundgren's "A Wizard, A True Star," Soft Machine II, and Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information."