For a new album that The Sheepdogs didn’t initially set out to make, Changing Colours is a stunning achievement.
Proud purveyors of guitar-driven modern-day retro rock, the triple Juno Award-winning Saskatoon-based quintet has expanded its sound on Changing Colours to encompass more styles and hues to enhance the Sheepdogs’ trademark beef-and-boogie twin-axe riffs, hooks, shuffles and long-haired aesthetic.
“We identify strongly with rock ‘n roll, but there’s definitely some branching out,” says Ewan Currie, The Sheepdogs’ singer, guitarist, songwriter and occasional - and yes, you’re reading this correctly - clarinetist. “The sounds we use on this – there’s more keyboards featuring Shamus and more stringed instruments. It’s still rock ‘n roll but there are more colours.”
It’s also great, passionate music born out of spontaneity: first resonating in the 17-song album’s euphoric opener “Nobody” and continuing to flavour such invigorating numbers as the electrifying “Saturday Night” and the driving “I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be,” the record’s infectious first single.
But The Sheepdogs haven’t only stretched their sonic palate: they’ve also expanded stylistically, tastefully embracing other genres as well.
There’s the country-lite feel of “Let It Roll,” the Stax-soul aura of the mid-tempo anthem “I Ain’t Cool” that features trombone -- and the resplendent Latin-rock vibe that fuels “The Big Nowhere.”