Audio Mixer: Stuart Stuart.
Recording information: Alchemix Studios, Brisbane, QLD; Analog Heart Studios, Brisbane, QLD.
Australian sibling band Sheppard make their debut with Bombs Away!, a buoyant set of acoustic-led pop tunes with an easygoing manner and a folky heart. Based around the core songwriting trio of Amy and George Sheppard with friend Jay Bovino, the band also includes bassist Emma Sheppard, guitarist Michael Butler, and drummer Jared Tredly. With their soaring group harmonies and uplifting melodies, Sheppard are eager to please and songs like "Geronimo" and "Let Me Down Easy" are served with a smile, exposing the group's roots in sunny Papua New Guinea where the three Sheppard siblings spent much of their youth. Elsewhere, they explore a slicker pop edge with tracks like "A Grade Playa" and "Find Someone," which feel contemporary but fail to resonate quite as well as their folkier fare. Sheppard are at their best here strumming, stomping, and singing to the rafters. ~ Timothy Monger