Indie rockers The Sherlocks release their highly-anticipated third album World I Understand today. Hailing from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the four-piece has dealt with uncertainty and tour cancellations due to the pandemic as well as a 50 per cent line-up change all while writing and recording their new album. But Kiaran Crook, Brandon Crook, Alex Procter and Trent Jackson have emerged the other side producing an album where their passion and drive is palpable throughout.
The atmospheric Porto is a beautiful opener that guides the listener in on a gentle wave of electronic reverb. But don’t get too comfortable, Falling snaps us right out of our reverie like a shot of tequila straight into the bloodstream. Lead singer Kiaran’s vocal is perfectly polished and the slight echo gives it a live gig vibe, a sound that we’ve all been yearning for during the pandemic. The mind-blowing Feeder-esque guitars are next-level and the soaring instrumental after the chorus of “I’m falling from the sky, I’m holding on for dear life, calling out for time while all the world will never know” promotes the track to anthemic status.
Riding high on this crest we sail right into Wake Up, an upbeat guitar-laden offering that layers unrelenting guitar riffs over a drum beat you can barely keep up with. Just as we try to catch our breath we’re sprinting into On The Run where the moody guitars are snapping at our heels. The vibe is when classic rock and Americana collide and the electric guitar reverb and the eye-popping shredding is utterly enthralling. We didn’t ask for a guitar instrumental to rival that from Falling but boy have we been given it.
Just when I think this album must have pulled all its tricks out of its hat, Plastic Heart opens with a riff that is unmistakably Nirvana meets Blur-influenced. The heavy intro conceals a softer centre as Kiaran sings of heartbreak and deception “I’m not giving up on you but there’s nothing I can do to keep your plastic heart from lying” coated in riffs and angst.
City Lights soars in all senses with the guitars, vocals and lyrics all hitting new heights: “I wanna climb till my body shakes but when I touch that sky will the ladder break, and who will be there on my fall from grace?”
The sound is switched up a little on Sorry as electronic keys vie for their moment in the spotlight and lend the track elegance when coupled with the harmonious backing vocals. This sound switch-up continues with Games You Play which has a chirpy 60s undertone. Think double-beat percussion, chipper keys and strings that elevate the track so far that you forget this is the same band that was channelling Nirvana a few minutes ago.
World I Understand throws us back into the whirlwind of guitars and anthemic choruses The Sherlocks have rightly claimed as their own before Last To Leave bowls in with its Editors-style hooks and catchy harmonies.
World I Understand bodes us farewell with Slip Road and its sombre intro that conceals a sense of urgency within. The electronic soundscape suddenly makes way for the impatient keys to flare into the fore and dance up a storm with the flourishing guitars. The final lyric of “Will it be too late?” hangs in the air as the track comes to a close and if we’re referring of the timing of this album, I think it’s just when we need it. The Sherlocks didn’t pull out all the stops with World I Understand, they quite frankly, blew them to pieces.
When speaking of World I Understand, Kiaran said “This record was all about timing, it would have been impossible to make it at any other time than this. Everything felt like it happened for a reason and I genuinely believe we made our best album to date. In years from now I think we’ll look back on this release as the one where it all changed and took us to the next level…” The band worked closely with Manic Street Preachers producer Dave Eringa and the result is arguably their most “unshackled and ambitious” album to date.
World I Understand is available to stream now. Find out more about The Sherlocks here and have a listen to World I Understand below.