The Sherbs - Shaping Up

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 2022 in Year-1982


ARTIST: Sherbs, The
ALBUM: Shaping Up
LABEL: Festival Australia
SERIAL: L 20021
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Darryl Braithwaite - vocals * Tony Leigh - guitars * Garth Porter - keyboards * Tony Mitchell - bass * Alan Sandow - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shaping Up * 02 No Holding Back (The Feeling) * 03 Don't Throw It All Away * 04 (I'll) Take It On The Run * 05 The Arrow * 06 Wild Is The Sea * 07 I Don't Wanna Lose You


'Shaping Up' is the lesser known of the three Sherbs albums, a seven-tracker released in 1982. The band was of course the next extension of the great Australian pop outfit Sherbet, who by this stage had migrated to early 80's pop/rock with much aplomb.

The time honoured vocal of Daryl Braithwaite can be heard to maximum effect. I'm not quite sure The Sherbs fairly represented the Australian pop soundscape of the era, with many varied bands with a (then) modern sound fused with a slight new wave flavour proving to be more popular among the Ocker fraternity.

As a result, 'Shaping Up' hung like low-hanging fruit and was easily dismissed among the pop critics and mainstream radio depsite the Sherbet connection.

The Songs

As mentioned, only the seven songs. I liked the racy little title track opener. Some neat pop-oriented synths with Briathwaite's familiar voice coming to the fore. Big drums announce 'No Holding Back', it's a beefy affair for a pop-rocker, unlike the next one 'Don't Throw It All Away' which sounds rather weak. Were keyboards and synths that shitty sounding back in 1982? Must've been..

'I'll Take It On The Run' sounds like a song about a mad dash for coffee at 7.00am in the morning. There's a hint of manic energy about this one. Coffee? Nah, I don't think so. 'The Arrow' slows things to a near crawl. I thought an arrow went much faster than that? Didn't quite get into that one.

The Sherbs get real interesting on their swan-song effort 'I Don't Wanna Lose You' which harks at the sort of direction that this band should've locked in on with a laser beam. Unfortunately their material over their career is pockmarked with moments of excellence and non-essential filler.

In Summary

Still, their record label Festival hung in all through their career, but three albums was all The Sherbs would grace us with. Braithwaite would head out onto a significant solo career, which still stands today. In any case, all three Sherbs efforts should be acquired, if not for posterity's sake.

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