The river Sheaf is a calm and tranquil river that runs through southern Sheffield. It was from this river that the aforementioned band took their name and rose into the bustling indie rock scene. Now, SHEAFS are taking their head-banging guitar riffs, compelling lyrics and heated live shows up and down the country.

Their latest track, ‘Popular Music’ is full of heavy guitar riffs, strong, punching bass and a heartfelt set of lyrics. We plunge into the track with a pulsing guitar line before we hear the drums cut in and the rhythm guitar picks up. We hear the instruments quieten and frontman Lawrence Feenstra’s dominating vocals pierce through the wall of music and take centre stage.

For me, Feenstra’s voice is what sets the band apart from the rest of the other small indie groups. Nowadays, with such a saturated community of indie bands many songs are starting to sound similar with little musical diversity. SHEAFS use Feenstra’s vocal aptitude to make sure they stand out from the rest, and it works. This feeling is evident with the first lyrics of the song being “I hate what you play, it sounds all the same”. The re-iteration of the word ‘Popular’ voices Feenstra’s frustration and annoyance toward bands who don’t have a unique sound like the SHEAFS do and the audience begin to share this feeling as the aggressive and riotous guitar lines and drumming begin to louden and burst back into the song to accompany Feenstra’s lyrics.  

Feenstra continues to express his dislike toward boring indie bands midway through the song with the lyrics “You’ve got to keep it simple, if you really want to please the people” before we are launched into a high-pitched guitar solo designed for lively mosh pits and a catchy chorus made to be sung to the heavens.

Personally, I think this single adds a new depth to the SHEAFS catalogue and one that will go down well in their already energetic live performances. The single delivers a clear message alongside catchy choruses and a heavy, gritty rhythm section. SHEAFS could easily play arenas in the future and they set out on a UK headline tour beginning in late September, catch them while you can.

Written by: Tom Taylor