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music videos reviews

Sharks – Selfhood album review

Have you ever been sitting around thinking, “God I wish I could listen to Greenday without being caught listening to thirty-eight year old men who wear make-up, spike their hair and rage against the machine while playing at the Grammys?” Well I think I may have a solution for you…

Sharks is as four piece punk rock band from jolly old England. Their music offering in Selfhood indicated two things. The first thing I can point out is that these boys have been busy. Since their formation in 2007, they have put out five actual collections of songs (a handful of EP’s, two LP’s and a compilation album, quite irregular for a band less than seven years old…) and are fairly consistent about releasing material. In addition to their regular album releases, they do music videos and everything. If I didn’t know any better I’d think they were Korean. That’s an exaggeration. They are very clever, but fall into a few minor pitfalls. I’m not sure they were aware that one of their riffs (in fact it ends the song) in “I Won’t Taint” is the melody to “Lean on me.” If one wasn’t aware of the output levels of these four, then you can listen and think this is just fairly simple, uncomplicated rock music. It’s not a challenge to listen to. It doesn’t ask a lot of the listener. I think at this point in rock history, the four piece, (two guitars, a bass and drums) is so played that to survive a group must shoot for this kind of familiarity. That’s what Sharks’ Selfhood is, it’s very familiar. You know these songs (or other incarnations of them). That doesn’t detract from it. Us 90’s kids are growing up. We’re starting to miss the good old grunge days.

Also, in light of their output levels, you shouldn’t expect an Arcade Fire concept album type production every year. That kind of thing is difficult to pull off. (For the actual math, Arcade Fire has done three albums and a song for the Hunger Games in their twelve year history) And again, to be fair, to take everything in context – the members of Sharks are very young. All that being said, they have been through about seven bassists. That speaks volumes to the complexity of the music.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: Keep it up kids. This all feels like a rocker’s apprenticeship. They’re still learning all the moves. Things are still sounding happy-go-lucky. This group won’t get really interesting until something horrible happens in their lives. It isn’t interesting yet, but I’m sure it will get there. They will move to a precipice, where they will either rise to the occasion and put out something truly, artistically commendable, or they will crash, burn and explode into obscurity.

You cannot find anything more average than this.

By Eric Wong

Eric is a writer from San Francisco. Being Asian, he was forcibly inducted into classical music and choirs at a young age. So clearly, he knows what he's talking about.

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