Reviewed by Mark Plummer

This time last year Sharks debut album, No Gods, had not long been released to a plethora of positive comments.  A year on and already there is new music with their sophomore release, Selfhood.  It may seem unusual to release another album so quickly, but if you’re riding a good wave, make the most of it.  Selfhood is no exception to this and still leaves the band with an unblemished reputation for nifty indie-punk writing.

The soft yet strong vocal lines are pleasant and don’t run the risk of being too harsh and raw.  This is equally complimented with the slick guitar work, going easy on full blown distortion and making their forté in nifty little licks to charm the most stubborn of listeners.  Whilst not sounding too polished, there’s just enough rawness in the recordings that mix with the maturity that Sharks exhibit to make them intriguing.

The first few tracks seem to flash by and all of a sudden the album hits its midpoint.  Whilst some of these songs are quick witted in their length, this only serves to testify to the phrase; short but sweet.  Bloody Wings starts with some wonderful control, the lightly distorted rhythm guitars upfront take control whilst a cleaner lead meanders its way over the verses, performing a perfect example of musical enjambment.  Flowing into Portland, the vocal strength doesn’t let up and brings a more Beach Boys feel to the party with it’s la-la-la’s.  The resulting affect gives the track a very light-hearted approach, enhancing this listeners need to grab a board and surf the summer days away from sunrise to sunset.

It’s hard to pick out individual tracks, the flow and movement that Sharks have created is effortless, but what is obvious is hearing first hand a band who, whilst showing off some comparisons to bands in the same genre, are ultimately writing their own rules.  There’s a big feel good, summertime essence in Sunday’s Hand, with its more indie than most guitar work that is swimming with treble.  Keeping everything in check is the chorus, refusing to let the song run away by evening out the bass.  Wild One eases the listener out peacefully, with the guitar work that sits behind everything else that really makes this track, before it crescendos, making one last big stand and ending as softly as it started.

Ultimately, the real selling point that Selfhood endows, is the vast amount of smiles that you’re hearing something truly wonderful. The recording process was described as “very reckless and fun” with nothing to be “pondered on”.  This transcends through out the album, making it effervescent and taking it from strength to strength.

5 out of 5


One response to “REVIEW: SHARKS – SELFHOOD

  1. Pingback: #NewMusicTuesday – April 30th | Music Streetlight·

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