Shed Seven - "If The Truth Be Told"

After an acrimonious split with their former label Polydor, Shed Seven received another unexpected blow when guitarist Paul Banks suddenly announced that he intended to leave the band. Despite such set backs the band are back with a vengeance, have a new line up, have signed to Artful Records (home to Clint Boon who supported the Sheds a few years back) and are set to release their first album "If The Truth Be Told" since their greatest hits collection 1999. To me the band have not received the critical acclaim they deserve. Every time they tour they play to sold out venues and they've had more Top 40 hits than most people realize. "If The Truth....." is a natural progression from their last studio album "Let it Ride". Their sound has naturally evolved with a new found maturity, but not to an extent that it alienates their existing fan base.

Opener "If The Music Don't Move You" is slightly heavier than usual and Rick Witter vocals are too low in the mix. Its not a major new direction and the fans will be ecstatic that the sing along chorus is just as catchy as say "Getting Better" and will go down a storm live. Its a good example of an energetic and rejuvenated Shed Seven - a fine return to form. "Cry For Help" will be the new single released to coincide with their imminent tour of the UK. A slow moving ballad with an excellent string arrangement is complimented by a smooth, lilting hammond organ. You can really feel for rick Rick when he sings the line "It really hurts when I'm thinking of you", showing the sensitive and emotional side of the band which they've previously displayed on the single "Chasing Rainbows"

With anthems like "Feathers" and simple string arrangements adorning relationship songs such as "My Love Equals Your Love", "If The Truth......" will delight the fans and its good to see that they still know hoe to deliver fine pop orientated rock songs.

Nicholas Paul Godkin