A Distant Call Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the Philadelphia punk quartet was recorded by by the band's bassist Hart Seely.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Aug 22, 2019
    85
    On their second album, Sheer Mag keep proving that raging against the system can also be a raging party. Much like Halladay, the band itself is a piece of coal that, under pressure, has emerged in its true form: a glittering diamond.
  2. Aug 21, 2019
    80
    Building on their prior LP, Sheer Mag broaden their scope just a little more on A Distant Call while retaining the DIY grit and edgy concision that made them so arresting in the first place. This might technically be a concept album, but at 35 minutes, it’s still a punk rager at heart.
  3. Aug 22, 2019
    80
    A Distant Call may contain some jarring juxtapositions, but on the whole it’s a welcome opportunity for Sheer Mag to prove that serious idealism and infectious fun can – and should – harmoniously coexist.
  4. Sep 5, 2019
    80
    Ethos is a different and a more complex matter. If you put out your own records and sing about leftist issues, does that make you punk? Maybe they’re trying to do something more essential, to find a version of rock that’s conscious of its History at that same time that it grounds us in the Now. Sheer Mag’s songs do that, again and again. And you’ll want to listen to them, again and again.
  5. Sep 6, 2019
    80
    These are songs that make you want to roll the windows down, light up a smoke, and pound the dashboard in agreement.
  6. Aug 26, 2019
    78
    A Distant Call is an album with depth of production, more deliberate songwriting, and a commitment to style.
  7. Aug 21, 2019
    70
    The once nitty-gritty production that better helped listeners live in Sheer Mag's retro world has been tidied up. Having polished up so much that the line between self-awareness and cliché is stretched thin, it's hard to tell whether a concept has been burrowed or held hostage all together. In many ways, the charm is gone. Thankfully, a song like "Hardly to Blame," finds ways to make the best of less-than-ideal situations.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 28, 2019
    6
    Plenty of decent riffs and cool/chintzy guitar tones here but the songs are mostly just ok. I'm not gonna guess at the level of irony beingPlenty of decent riffs and cool/chintzy guitar tones here but the songs are mostly just ok. I'm not gonna guess at the level of irony being deployed here, with so many nods to retro guitar rock. But often Tina Halladay sounds like she's trying too hard to push things over the top and they just won't go. Worth hearing and "Hardly to Blame" "The Killer" and "Keep on Runnin'" are keepers. Expand