Review- “Learn & Burn”- The Sheepdogs

reviewed by Michael

In case you don’t understand the denotation of the album’s title, just check out the album artwork. It should provide any missing context.

Learn & Burn is the third album from Saskatoon’s the Sheepdogs, and it is a great work with plenty of guitar solos, wonderful group vocals and marijuana innuendo. Whoops, did I say that out loud?

Okay, the innuendo isn’t that prominent in the music, but you can hear it at times. For example, in the song “I Don’t Get By” lead singer Ewan Currie says “I don’t get by/I just sit around getting high.” Okay, let’s leave that alone.

There is a reason that the Sheepdogs have been named as the most exciting band to come out of Saskatoon. Their mastery of their southern rock sound is quite apparent. You can almost imagine them playing this rock in some sort of farm, up to their waists in wheat plants. “Southern Dreaming” is probably the best song to back up what I just said.

Their guitar is certainly something to be admired. They break into numerous guitar solos, and these solos sometimes comprise almost the entire song, such as in “Catfish 2 Boogaloo.”

They also have great vocal harmonies, evident on almost every song. To me it seems like vocal harmonies are making a huge comeback in the independent scene. Or maybe it never left? Someone please answer that question.

The Sheepdogs also show that despite their references to the past (their song “I Don’t Know” is very much like something that Stevie Ray Vaughan could have sang), they also show that they have not left the present behind. In “Learn & Burn” they actually mention Facebook invitations. This is the first time I have ever heard Facebook mentioned in a song.

Finally, the last song on the album is actually a medley. You really don’t see many of those anymore. While medleys are usually associated with terrible tributes, this one works.

All in all, this band is a great flashback to the southern rock popular in the 60’s and 70’s, and they are the first band on this blog from Saskatchewan to be reviewed. Bonus points.

Top Tracks: “I Don’t Know”; “Southern Dreaming”

3.5 Hoots (out of 4)

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