Sheer Mag singer Tina Halladay howls about a killer having you “right between the eyes” on the Philadelphia outfit’s new song, “The Killer.” The track will appear on Sheer Mag’s upcoming LP, A Distant Call, out August 23rd.
“The Killer” owes a debt to Seventies hard rock, thanks to guitarists Matt Palmer and Kyle Seely’s muscular riffs, but the way the backup vocals ring out, “It’s the killer, it’s the killer,” makes the song more than a six-string showcase.
What’s unclear, though, is just who the killer is. Halladay starts out by saying that he’s “shaking hands on the senate floor,” but in a statement, she said it’s not necessarily one person. “There are many killers out there. The Killer is a liar with a strangle hold on the world. The Killer is a war criminal the corrupt of society have produced and protected. The Killer spends his life covering up atrocities and defending right-wing dictatorships. The Killer stifles accountability and truth. We want to know, when does The Killer die?”
“The Killer” is the penultimate track on A Distant Call, a quasi–concept album that chronicles a time when Halladay was out of work, single, and trying to make sense of the death of her father — a man with whom she had a difficult relationship. The band previously released “Blood From a Stone,” off the record.
A Distant Call follows Sheer Mag’s 2017 debut, Need to Feel Your Love, which placed at Number 22 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2017 list. That record’s “Fan the Flames” also made it onto Rolling Stone’s Best Songs list that year. Prior to all of that, Rolling Stone included the ensemble on our list of 10 Great Modern Punk Bands.