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When Irish-born Count Vaseline / The Mighty Stef songwriter Stef Murphy met Stiff Little Fingers guitar tech Jamie Mechan in Nashville, Tennessee, it began a musical partnership of the highest order. After cranking out a few tunes at Mechan’s fledgling studio, 302 Sound, the duo started recruiting other musicians. The band was rounded out by drummer Ryan Sweeney (Cheap Time) and Eli Steele (Sweet Knives.) Dubbing themselves The Sleeveens, an Irish term for a trixter, the band got to work. After recording and releasing their highly-touted “Give My Regards To The Dancing Girls” 45rpm single on Sweeney’s Sweet Time Records, they finished off their eleven track debut album. The quartet were soon approached by longrunning punk label Dirtnap Records for the album’s 2024 release.
The resulting album is an homage to the kind of classic punk Chiswick, New Rose and Stiff Records were releasing forty-five years before The Sleeveens existed. With earworm melodies and screaming guitars, the foursome have crafted one of the best albums of the year. Murphy’s penchant for charmingly brilliant, matter-of-fact lyricism has a similar poetic quality as Mark E. Smith or Jonathan Richman. With expert mastering by Jim Diamond (The White Stripes, The Dirtbombs) to put the finishing touches on the sound, The Sleeveens is a record that is simultaneously uncompromisingly raw and thoughtfully crafted.
“As far as I’m concerned, all and sundry can pencil in Stef as the Impending Punk Rock Van Morrison.” — Rev. Norb, Razorcake
“Fav new band Stef & The Sleeveens...love this mysterious band!” —Quintron
“Murphy sings with tremendous passion and conviction while The Sleeveens rock out like there’s no tomorrow...you can’t ask for a better debut record than this.” —Faster and Louder