A debonair man stands alone under the streetlight. You can't see his face, but you can tell he's looking at you. He hands you some headphones and eloquently says "get this in yer fkn system, c*nt." Queue the music.
Not a fresh face in Brisbane, but a fresh outfit and a new moniker, Sam Shepherd is coming at you with the latest thing to shoot out of his guitar under the name Sam Syrah (pronounced Sah-rah) with his latest single 'Philosophy'. Previously a member of Daisy & The White Jacket, Port Royal and occasionally moonlighting with McDermott & North, I couldn't resist checking him out with this pedigree. I actually went to uni with the guitarist of Port Royal, and I'm good friends with Paddy McDermott (he's a fkn G), so I knew he was in good company, but I didn't know what to expect. So I sat down. I put my headphones in. I hit play. What follows is a serious face melting, from which I shall never recover. Warped and transfigured, I sit here in the afterglow after my fifth. Sixth. Seventh viewing. . . Changed & trembling. This is the track your guitar gods have promised you.
It's not just a solo project, with his closest home boys joining him in V-formation from Juno and Port Royal. This track takes on a more personal approach to storytelling, and is only a taste of Sam Syrah's upcoming EP Some Things Stay The Same, coming in our greedy little earholes later this year.
The track follows a simple verse x chorus structure, starting with a bang as the drums start swinging. There is a slow psych guitar drawl with a layer of nightcrawler bass always lurking. It's a story of a night gone right in the neo noir night-time streets of Summer Brisbane. And there's always a darkness behind the strings.
But it's the solo that garners this saucy little number 5 and a half stars out of a possible 3. It grabs you by the short & curlies and puts hairs on your chest. Schralp nation. There's some playful little notes amongst the ol' emotive Big Boys. It is only eclipsed by the steaming outro solo, more sinister than the last.
He's playing Russian Roulette with six strings in the chamber.
Of the track, Sam stated:
"This song is a nod to a past relationship. Acknowledging that yes, a lot went on, however, then was then and now is of course now - no hard feelings, only love and appreciation remains."
So wrap your ear-gloves around this ditty today, and smack yourself awake until the EP drops later this year. This is the best track that has played slap n tickle with me in a long time. I'm cynical of new music, but Sam Syrah has blown my ear weens and converted me to indie-rock faithful. Praise those finger-lickin' notes and blessed be the schralp. Thanks Sam.