A FEW years ago they were playing pub gigs and enjoying recording their first music video on the roof of a multi-storey car park in Mexborough.
Last week, Bolton on Dearne boys The Sherlocks were signing copies of the debut album after living the dream of signing a deal with Infectious Records last Christmas.
Blood, sweat and tears has doubtless gone into the recording of their debut album, Live for the Moment, which takes its name from the title of their first ever single.
A passionate and ever-increasing fanbase will be waiting with bated breath for the chance to download a copy or finally hold it in their hands.
But to borrow the lyric of another Sherlocks track: “Was it really worth it after all?”
The answer to that depends on your expectations.
The Sherlocks don’t reinvent the musical wheel — I suspect they’d admit as much themselves — and their sound is not especially sophisticated but it’s hard to deny the fact they produce energising, pounding indie-rock tunes packed with singalong choruses.
Singer Kiaran Crook’s deep-throated delivery belies his boyish looks but has the strength to hold its own against the pumping, riff-laden backing of brother Brandon and mates Josh and Andy Davidson.
The singles which have made their name — Last Night, Escapade, Will You Be There and, of course, Live for the Moment, are all present — and I have to say the latter remains the band’s most vibrant outing yet.
The album also offers the chance to discover a clutch of new tracks, and the test of its value is whether they are just their to fill out the 12-track running time or deserve inclusion in their own right.
Of these, the soft-rock lament of Turn Back the Clock is perhaps the best, while Blue never quite fulfils its promise and Nobody Knows, reminicent of early Arctic Monkeys, fails to truly fly.
Motions, a foot-tapping, Killers-eque, Americana-tinged offer of support, fits in oddly well but I’m afraid album closer Candlelight rather washed over me.
Crook’s lyrics generally deal with the experiences of the downtrodden, the self-deluded and the disappointed, which again seems at odds with his tender years.
Perhaps it is to The Sherlocks’ credit that despite the melancholy tone of their subject matter, their music retains the power to seduce.
And their abilities on their chosen instruments can’t fail to impress given their average age of just 21.
The new tracks are a mixed bag but the much-loved singles, some of which have been re-recorded, have survived intact and pack as much punch as ever.
Whether Live for the Moment wins them new fans remains to be seen, but those already hooked have been well-served and should be pretty happy.
The next step is to escape comparisons with other acts and establish their own distinctive sound.
Whether these likeable South Yorkshire lads can master that challenge remains to be seen, but it’s going to be fun finding out.
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