At times I can hear Senser, musically, which dates the sound slightly but there's enough going on to make this a short-lived detraction. The other minor quibble is the smattering of a few death growl back ups that feel out of place and add little. Focusing on the positive, though, this is a short, sharp shock of spiky alternative, fusing everything from indie through punk and metal, with a groove and attitude that keeps things vibrant. And that voice.....ouch. Find out more here and buy this riotous little recording here.
Next up it's back to the Northern hemisphere, right up to Canada and Winnipeg's The Perms. Mixing up the classic melodic rock sound of Cheap Trick with the contemporary grooves and quirks of Weezer, these three gents deliver a simple but catchy single in Give Me All Your Lovin'.
It's an upbeat, hook-laden slice of poppy rock that entertains plenty, without ever threatening to push boundaries. A full record of the same seems like it may get somewhat repetitive but there's enough on show here to want to dig deeper. A review of most recent album 'Keeps You Up When You're Down' will most likely be the way to decide, so not far from now I'll be on that like Tim Howard on a Spanish attacker's shot. In the meantime you can check the chaps out over this way.
Time for one more and then this will need to shift into part II later this week, as there's still plenty more to ramble on about. Swinging back South of the border and down to the desert states (they can't pick one of UT, NV, or AZ) with Shark Speed. Their recent debut, 'Sea Sick Music', serves up an intriguing mix of indie-rock with pop sensibilities. Most readily comparable to Minus the Bear, what with the smooth singing and intricate guitar work underpinning otherwise deceptively straightforward rock songs, there are also nods to a wealth of the last decade's emo luminaries. Emo before it became synonymous with 'goth-lite', you understand? Because to tarnish this band with the more modern millstone definition would be most unfair, as 'Sea Sick Music' is thoroughly upbeat and an extremely enjoyable listen.
Highlights include the punchy, urgent chorus of I'm a Machine and the more reflective Man of Sass, the dual vocal harmonies of which hit close to the off-kilter, energetic rock of Johnny Foreigner. True, some of the songs come close to each other and the overall listen may not be as varied and dynamic as the band they most closely resemble, but when the tunes are upbeat, fun, and played with a richness that many other bands fail to achieve, such question marks are quickly forgotten.
With the sun beginning to show itself after a long deference to grey, dull skies in my area, this album is likely to feature more and more alongside Phoenix and The Thermals in the summer listening stakes. It wouldn't be at all bad if your own playlists went the same direction, so be sure to add this one to your shopping list (from here). Dig up more on Shark Speed here. The band is currently on tour around the West, so be sure to check those summer dates and hit them up.
MP3: Shark Speed - I'm a Machine
MP3: Shark Speed - Man of Sass
Taken from debut album 'Sea Sick Music' - out now.
Note: If you somehow stumbled across this page for a school project after a visit to the aquarium, your surfing is not in vain. How fast can sharks actually swim? Here you are. Don't forget to cite your references.
Now playing: Father Abraham - Asteroid Belt +++ Giraffterbirth