As a long time fan of 4AD, I was looking forward to hear something new. Scheer's release, Infliction, left much to be desired. It seemed that in every song I was reminded of another band, which isn't a bad thing if you like all your bands to sound alike. If you want something different, something to satisfy that desire for something original, it's not the album. I'm not saying that I didn't like the whole thing, just some of it.

Scheer shows promising creativity, similar to the Pale Saints and the energy of The Pixies. However, they should pick a musical style and develop it fully. Most bands have a genre in mind before they release an album. This experimenting with other musical styles till they find one is okay if you're still in the garage. Scheer would be infinitely better if they chose a particular style rather than bouncing back and forth from metal to a folksy, Sarah McLachlan style. Musical consistency is not their strong point.

"Demon," a UK released single which received praise from Melody Maker, is good evidence of what this Northern Irish band is capable of. They have a good grasp of dynamics which is reflected in all of their songs. They don't just beat on their guitars; they actually play them. Other songs like "In Your Hand" and "Babysize" exhibits their experimental side by incorporating different guitar methods mixed in with effective vocals. Songs like "Shea" and "Wish You Were Dead" show a more metal side which I didn't appreciate. "Wish You Were Dead" was a typical topic for screeching metal bands of this type.

Infliction is an album of changing styles and energy levels. Not an album to keep in your player for weeks at a time, but something to satisfy that occasional itch. Although I didn't really like this album, I think you should keep an eye out for future releases because once they get away from the heavy guitar herd, they have the potential to be a cutting edge band.

Mike Higgins
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