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Five Easy Pieces - EP

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Album Review

After six years of touring their local Saskatchewan scene with their old-school brand of Southern boogie rock, hirsute Canadian four-piece the Sheepdogs got their big break when they won Rolling Stone's Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star competition, becoming the first unsigned act to appear on the magazine's front cover in the process. While it's difficult to begrudge their chance at the limelight, their first release since their victory, the five-track EP Five Easy Pieces, makes you question the quality of the other competitors. There's nothing particularly wrong with their '70s revival schtick, which unapologetically embraces the sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Allman Brothers, and Lynryd Skynyrd, but there's also nothing particularly notable about it either. While the barroom blues of "How Late, How Long," the three-part harmonies of the country-tinged "I Don't Know" (which previously appeared on 2010's independently released Learn & Burn), and the harder-edged psychedelic "Learn My Lesson" are all convincing retro-rock pastiches, it's quite disconcerting that the voters of the legendary music publication believed that a band so derivative should represent the 2011 rock & roll scene. Frontman Ewan Currie possesses a fine blue-eyed soul vocal, which is best showcased on the honky tonk Hall & Oates-esque soft rock of "The Middle Road," the only time the EP deviates from its well-worn formula, while the tight musicianship proves that the bandmembers are certainly ready to live the dream. But while Five Easy Pieces is undeniably a feel-good nostalgic affair, it's unlikely to sustain their current momentum. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

In response to Geek USA

Dear Geek,

How about looking at the fact of 'keeping the genre alive' or 'they make music that they love to listen to.' I bet there are thousands of YOUNG fans who did not grow up in the 70s who love bands like Neil Young and Black Mountain, who are excited to hear NEW music in the style that they enjoy.

It is people like you who pigeon hole artists and twist a sour note on an art form. Art is subjective. If you don't like it, move on. Do not put down artists who have obviously worked very hard to do what they love. They are not wasting time trolling the internet to write a review that makes them seem 'larger than life' or 'holier than thou.'

Please keep reading Rolling Stone, because we all know that they are always right. Maybe you should start writing reviews for them.

One Love,

These Guys Rock!

I have seen them live multiple times and so happy to see them getting their big break! Have all these songs already, but had to buy them again to support some Saskatchewan home grown talent.

i luv saskatchewan

i luv them i luv saskatchewan


Formed: 2006 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Built on the solid, classic rock foundation of three-part harmonies and dual guitar leads, Canada's the Sheepdogs blend Southern boogie rock, groove-based psychedelia, and bluesy barroom swagger into a modern rock & roll revival. Based out of the Saskatchewan city of Saskatoon, the band features the talents of Ewan Currie (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Bowskill (guitar), Ryan Gullen (bass), and Sam Corbett (drums), plus Ewan's brother Shamus on brass and keyboards. The group released three full-length independent...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by The Sheepdogs

Five Easy Pieces - EP, The Sheepdogs
View in iTunes
  • $5.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, American Trad Rock
  • Released: Aug 02, 2011

Customer Ratings