It’s been sometime since the epic thrash stylings of Sven & the Sheepherders have hit the headlines in Red Deer. Originating from the once artistic driven turbulent ashes of the 1990’s local scene – the herders held court over a bursting scene of revolutionary sounds and equally driven talent. Some 20 years later in the basement of the Ross Street Slumland theatre where for all intensive purposes the original jam spaces bloomed, the herders returned. . .older, greyer, a little worse for wear but nevertheless ready to dish out some old school sounds to the underground and push headlong against the current scene and reclaim their space.
Lead by the epic drumming of Sean Robertson, the band overcomes the audience with the delicate nature of an overhand right punch to the face. Roberston’s twin Ludwig setup is what most drummer’s aspire to; his small bald frame immersed completely in his craft, the skinned giants surrounding his body hungrily as he defends himself with nothing but two hickory 5B sticks and lightning speed and agility.
Rhythmically, Robertson is flanked by a towering giant of a man in Brent Brebur, his calm stage demeanor is a deceptive play toward the crowd as he digs deep in the visceral body of his 6 string bass and leads the forward assault on each song. His tonal equals and complimentary instrumental tenors are the impressive Frizzell brothers in Shannon and Jason. With Jason his lead guitar is a scintillating surgically precise demonstration of over 40 years of silently acquired ability tempered with an impressive dedication to his instrument. Shannon, the alternate Frizzell is the stone faced gambler, the man with little expressive movement of his face – he is the model tactician and ever present perfectionist on his guitar.
Orchestrating it all and presenting it forward to the listener is balanced by Mike Flewwelling the undeniably enthusiastic front man that seems to never grow old. As if being born unto a unknown source fountain of youth; Flewwelling charges through each song in old school fashion, his band meeting his every unplanned peak and valley. Flewwelling bring’s his unique fundamental lyrics to a new generation. His focus is once again on growing a new crop of kids in the vacuum of punk and pulling them back from the edges of mainstream and launching them headlong into the abyss of oldschool together.
Joining Flewwelling and the thrash entourage for several songs as his original place of key lyricist and contributor is Kevin Moose Montgomery. Kevin’s drilling lyrics are those of what scaled SNFU to the top of the lists throughout the 1980’s. Like a complimentary early form of the SNFU front man, Moose Montgomery emblazoned in the green lights of the stage eerily brings you with him kicking and screaming to the days of all their youth. His gravel drawn voice and deep ended thrash technique show any audience member these are no ordinary men, they are Sven & the Sheepherders and they’re back.