Not many bands that have played the Vans Warped Tour claim the Beatles and the Beach Boys as their musical idols. Sherwood, an indie quintet from San Luis Obispo, California, fit neatly alongside the pop-punk likes of Yellowcard and other post-Green Day acts, but with an unapologetic power pop side that gives them a distinctly melodic edge.
Taking their name from an early band joke about writing a concept album that meshed with the 1973 Disney Robin Hood cartoon in the way that Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon supposedly meshes with The Wizard of Oz, Sherwood formed in late 2002 while its members were students at Cal Poly State University. Originally consisting of singer and guitarist Dan Koch, bassist Nate Henry, and guitarist Chris Armstrong, the group was completed with the addition of drummer Joe Greenetz and keyboard player Mike Leibovich. The band's self-released debut, 2004's The Summer EP, and an opening slot on the Vans Warped Tour that summer caught the attention of pop-punk label SideCho Records, which signed the band later that year. Sherwood's full-length debut album, Sing, But Keep Going, was released in May 2005. Touring came next, of course, and the guys logged time throughout the year with bands like This Providence, Tokyo Rose, and Daphne Loves Derby. Armstrong exited in early 2006 to return to school as the band's profile steadily grew thanks to the support of popular news blog AbsolutePunk.net. Sherwood (now a quartet) eventually inked a new deal with MySpace Records that fall and released A Different Light in March 2007. 2009's Brad Wood-produced QU garnered both critical and commercial claim, but despite their success, the group went their separate the next year to focus on their personal lives and growing families. Sherwood would re-form in 2015 and raise $20,000 in just five days via Indiegogo to record their comeback album, Some Things Never Leave You, which dropped in June 2016. ~ Stewart Mason