Steal With Pride Reviews
Chelsea Lewis, the CelebrityCafe.com
Upbeat rock'n'roll group Sharp Practise has released their latest album Steal With Pride. Sharp Practise has shown that over time and with experience the band has developed their musical sound and has taken their music in a different, slightly modern direction.
The music features strong melodies and intense guitar riffs that really capture the attention of the listening audience early on. Along with impressive instrumental arrangements, the album pulls from a few rock'n'roll influences including everything from classic influences to more modern ones.
The album combines each single to tell an overall story and each track flows into the next one effortlessly. The album starts off on an emotional note with the earlier songs taking the time to develop the story. Towards the end of the album, the melodies pick up and the tone embraces classic upbeat and rock'n'roll.
It is clear that when the band was working on this album that experimenting with instruments and really working on the sound was a high quality. This album feels like the days when artists would come together for a jam session and see what would organically happen.
For fans that like Steal With Pride or are just discovering the band for the first time, it would be worth going back and listening to previous albums. It is refreshing to hear a band only focusing on the music and having fun playing their songs live, instead of focusing on what beats a laptop could produce.
Stand out tracks on the album include Good Speech, Maybe (This Ain't Right) and Wish My Girlfriend Was A Vampire.
Skaterized, Slug magazine
Sharp Practise = REO Speedwagon + The Who - Little River Band
“Sharp Practise” is a slang term more common among Brits, meaning behavior that is underhanded or dishonest but technically within the law. When Nigel Clothier started the band in 1999, he recorded a demo playing all the instruments himself, and took photos of himself as various members, to give the impression the band was already in place. Truth in advertising, if tongue in cheek! Honestly, I don't know what to think about the band's identity, but they know how to rock!
On Steal With Pride, Sharp Practise's fifth album, the playing is technically very adept and recorded skillfully to achieve a radio-friendly melodic rock sound. The songs are fairly generic but here is a band that has enough talent to create their own intriguing rock persona.
Anna Maria Starjnell, Luna Kafe e-zine
"Burnin' Blood" is a rockin' tune with a strong chorus that they do well. "Keep it dark" is a bluesy dirge that Clothier and co handles well. It's a suggestive song with a great chorus. "Over to Caitilin's" is a dreamy song with a nice lyric about a girl. "Justice" closes the album on a good note, Clothier singing in a convincing voice and the guitar playing's ace.
It's a very accomplished album by a good band.
Gayle Harding rocknrollview.com
Straight away it’s clear to me this album is an imaginative return of classic Pop-Fusion-Folk-Psychedelics. What makes this band work so well is the combination of the four core members. The sound is comparable to The Who mainly. All of the above provides a strong musical foundation to build from. The CD kicks off with 3 strong openers: “Jog On”, “Burnin’ Blood” and “Hard Heart”.
“Over at Catlin’s” follows and is a pleasant musical journey through a musical kaleidoscope of strong vocal melody. The harmonies beautifying what could have been showcased in a film or TV show. ‘Fine Line” is more of a progressive piece and is an exceptionally intriguing pop song showcasing this band as a moving and grooving unit. Other stand out tracks to me are the rocking “Jog On” and “Good Speech.”
I just love how well these four sound together. The guitar work is rich and full of rocked out goodness. I like how these lads harmonize together as well. In the end Sharp Practise are a real breath of old classic rock fresh air for me and a shock to the everyday ‘heavy synth” musical system. Not to be the last we hear from them.
This is studio album number four from the band, who’ve been knocking around since the nineties, and across the ten tracks they provide some resolutely old fashioned rock and roll. Which is fine by me, as they waver between being a seventies blues rock band and an eighties melodic rock band. There are some good songs here, with the likes of ‘Fine Line’ and ‘Hard Heart’ the best of the bunch.
Edwin Scott, Allwhatsrock.com
This CD “Steal with Pride” by English rock band “Sharp Practise” is sure to one day be remembered as one of the classic good time UK-rock CD’s of recent times. It’s pure rocking magic the way it used to be, full of cautionary tales, and a passion for life and life on the road. All of this describes this band to a “T”, as they are a fun band to see live but they have a slight tragic-dark side to them.
So who are Sharp Practise anyway? They are a rock band who draw on life experiences from both the interior and exterior vantage point.” Nigel Clothier's narrative lyrics and sincere performances offer an unobstructed view into the heart of an artist who embraces each moment. “Steal with Pride” finds this four piece finding a comfortable middle ground, between the more faded musings of 70’s rock and more modern day rock. From track 1 ”Jog On” to the final moments of Track 10 “Justice” this latest release hits on all cylinders with a fun musical landscape full of power and happy go lucky overtones. Some songs are about lost love “Over at Catlin’s” no doubt while others are about life’s sweet victory “Wish My Girlfriend Was a Vampire.” One thing that impressed me the most about this album and band is the sheer impassioned English Rock-folk vibe one gets. There’s an Alternative Rock ambience that really sucks in the listener, but also hints of Blues and Hard Rock. The instrumentation and tones give you that genuine feel of good music and writing from a generation ago. It also has a solid feel reminiscent of Alternative Rock popular in the early 70’s as well. Bands like Joy Division, Cream, The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground and Deep Purple. Despite this I can also hear more modern Amos Lee, Joe Purdy, Alexi Murdoch, David Gray and Brett Dennen. All members in this band are solid musically.
Kudos goes out to the amazing playing – the proof is in the picking. I also always said you can sell what you don’t truly believe, in this aspect Sharp Practise seals the deal and captures some Lighting in a Bottle via Nigel's amazing vocal touch that will ring true not only for older more experienced listeners but new ones as well.
My favorite tracks: “Maybe, Over at Catlin’s, Hard Heart, Good Speech.
“Steal with Pride” is a well rounded 10 track line-up that delivers an interesting cross section of classic Americana Alt-Rock, and Classic Pop-Rock. Once again – despite this it is accessible to modern day listeners as well. How is this possible? Only an experienced artist armed with an honest, genuine, sincere approach like Sharp Practise can pull it off. This is not their first rodeo either as they have many albums to their credit. Need I say more?
Bruce Callow, Canada
"Some catchy songs there, I like Wish My Girlfriend was a Vampire particularly! Great album and a great vibe"
Indie Music Digest
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with "Jog On” a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up a slamming rock groove meshed against thought provoking lyrical content and effective harmonies. Track 2 “Burnin’ Blood” keeps things moving in the right direction with its methodical intro, steady flowing rhythm, well placed guitar chops painted against a hooky chorus making for an impressive follow-up statement. Track 3 “Hard Heart” rocks the house with its bluesy rhythm, impressive harmonies and guitar ambience. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 catchy songs in a row.
The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. I would classify this music as Classic Rock, with brief touches of Blues and Jam Band, R&B to Psychedelic Rock of the 70’s and 80’s. Music is reminiscent of classic The Smithereens, Eddie Money, Bob Welch, John Mayer, The Who, Spoon, The Doors and Peter Frampton. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive rhythm guitar and solid guitar solos, impressive organ and keyboards, lush harmonies, harmonica layered everywhere all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt.
Now turning our attention over to Clothier - as for his vocal abilities well he reminds me of a modern day Jim Morrison – though he doesn’t look a thing like him. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that’s infectious. All songs are well crafted and consistent across the board.
This CD from Sharp Practise delivers 10 rock solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. From hypnotic “Keep It Dark” to melodic and heartfelt “Over to Catlin’s” and “Maybe (This Ain’t Right) to clever “Good Speech” to rocking “Wish my Girlfriend was a Vampire” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Justice” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
R J Frometa, Vents Magazine
OK let’s be honest for just a second shall we. I get a lot of albums sent my way for review and I mean a lot. Most of them don’t do anything for me. They don’t always get happily placed in the CD player, but the ones that do usually get a three song stay of execution and generally if they last past that they get my full unadulterated attention. Sometimes I’m hooked from the first track, and that’s precisely what happened when I put the latest CD by English rock band Sharp Practise on, entitled “Steal with Pride.” The CD bursts to life with the fantastic traditional rocked out sound and follows through with a wonderful sequence of just 2 songs to be exact. It twists and turns the way great songs should with a little bit of rock, a little bit of high octane driven rock-soul and a lot of harmonic goodness.
I really like the song line up – the way each song masterfully transitions through to the next creating much in the way of drama. So many bands and record labels get this basic skill so wrong. They fail to listen to the songs at their disposal and seemingly throw the album together without giving it any real thought. I’ve known people who work to formulas making sure that their best songs start and finish the album with the remaining tracks squeezed between in a slapdash fashion. That’s not the case with this CD. I fully realize it has just 10 tracks on it – but I like the way they started off heartfelt and left rocking. In fact each track could probably survive on its own merits, but the CD flows so well.
Sharp Practise could easily be heralded as classic sounding rock but there is so much more to them. I hear Peter Adams, Tim Reynolds, Griffin House, Timmy Curran and even my favourite band Great Lake Swimmers. Some pieces stand out like the more appealing to a mass audience “Fine Line” and “Good Speech”, but there is a melodic edge to songs like “Over to Catlin’s” which is my favourite track on the album by the way. The strategic interweaving of systemic melody and impressive vocal performances from these guys is a delight, but the solid rhythmical foundation of this band is essential to their artistic and commercial potential.
The sound is that of the golden era of popular music in the Seventies and beyond when musicianship mattered! But the beauty of this record is the use of all mod-cons forcing their relevance into the modern world. My hats off for having the courage to resurrect this style of music! Maybe I’m lucky enough to be in on the ground floor? Maybe things are just about to kick on for Sharp Practise here in the US? Whatever it is make sure you get a hold of this latest effort – it’s a must have for new cult followers or old school rock n’ rollers and definitely worth your time to check out.
Formed in 1999, Sharp Practise is a rock band from the U.K. that has been around the global block, appearing on TV screens from Australia to Canada, along with providing music for such bigwig companies as Fila.
Viewing their studio as an instrument in its own right, Sharp Practise takes a rather scientific approach to recording. They strive to “develop material that has a mix of tempos, moods and sounds that ebb and flow over a number of songs.”
The band has brought this carefully produced mix of effects to their fifth album Steal With Pride.
The musicianship is stellar on the track “Hard Heart,” but it’s tough to contend with the excitement of the previous track.
True to its title, the track “Keep It Dark” seems more brooding and introspective. Must say, I am a fan of the lyrics: “A pearl necklace ain’t no jewelry / Honeydripper, walk with me.”
By the way, I think ‘Honeydripper’ is a great name, would make a good title for a song or, hell, even a book. If only this type of stuff was in my Studies in Poetry class back in college. This sure beats the living shit out of Walt Whitman.
The track “Fine Line” has good dirty rock n’ roll guitar riffs. Again, we have another memorable line with tangible imagery: “You’re half undressed like a trash can hooker.”There’s something playful and edgy about the track “Over to Caitlin’s.” Musically, this is my favorite piece so far. To indulge in a cliché: the chorus makes me wanna sing along.
Just on the title alone, I’m a fan of the track “Wish My Girlfriend Was a Vampire.”
There’s something tender about the guitar work on “Maybe This Ain’t Right.”
‘Right’ or not, are you willing to ‘steal with pride’? Head to Soundcloud or bring your thieving souls to CD Baby.
While it is true many feel the music industry is in disarray, it’s always a breath of fresh air to hear a new band or artist that’s not afraid to take chances with their musical expression. Keeping this in mind the latest release from UK based Sharp Practise “Steal with Pride” it’s clear to me they have surpassed what many consider to be the atypical “old time rock” musical release.
Steal with Pride is a compelling 10 track musical anthem with a string of catchy songs that will keep the listener mesmerized and fully entertained. Also present are messages that are mostly rock n’ roll based and a vibe that is, unmistakably, well old school UK rock. These guys combine many impressive musical styles: like retro Rock of the 70’s and 80’s and even modern Rock and a bit of Blues, with a splash of traditional Soul Rock, and yep even UK Invasion style playing. Some pieces I really like are ‘Fine Line” and ‘Good Speech” with their powerfully honest yet simplistic messages. ‘Over at Catlin’s” actually expands the possibilities as a possible radio hit in the making, but to me the song that personifies the vintage White sound is “Hard Heart”. On this song they brilliantly bring the listener to his center and deliver a cool piece of music that sounds best loud and defiant.
Clothier creates a sound that will make virtually any listener feel right at home. As a vocalist, he garnishes a gifted vocal timbre for rock as he glides with precision with just enough in the way of passionate technicalities, yet not neglecting soul and twang on the side. On many tracks they perform a multitude of amazing harmonies and solid guitar playing.
If you like The Who, The Small Faces, Free and even The Jam and Squeeze you will like Sharp Practise. This CD delivers cool retro rock action and attitude for the senses that has no boundaries – very much like the rock n’ roll itself.
Brianna Carlson edited by J.J McCall.
Mike Barnett, Australia
"Very enjoyable songs"