SHARKS - The Joys of Living 2008-2010 (Cover Artwork)


SHARKS: The Joys of Living 2008-2010The Joys of Living 2008-2010 (2011)
Rise Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: sailin_onsailin_on
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Remember picking up the Gaslight Anthem's Sink or Swim and being completely blown away by the sweet Americana-flavored punk rock sounds? Well, you're about to relive that experience all over again with SHARKS' The Joys of Living 2008-2010. While there may be early Gaslight influences in the music, e.
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Remember picking up the Gaslight Anthem's Sink or Swim and being completely blown away by the sweet Americana-flavored punk rock sounds? Well, you're about to relive that experience all over again with SHARKS' The Joys of Living 2008-2010. While there may be early Gaslight influences in the music, every track feels like a breath of fresh air. The compilation collects the band's first two EPs, a seven-inch single and two new tracks

The rolling beats of "The Joys of Living" and "Trains" carry the first half of the album with excitement on every chord played. My two favorite tracks on here have to be "It All Relates" and "Common Ground", though. These numbers are mid-tempo, anthemic rockers that'll have you out of your seat chanting along with the infectious rhythms. Even slower tunes like "More Blue" feel right in place with the rest of the collection. It's interesting how a UK band can capture that rock 'n' roll Americana feel without...well, being from America. Still, a very good effort put forth by a fresh face to the overdone sound of modern punk. The instrumentation on this record is definitely done right. From hints of reggae basslines, to country twangs, to the blues-influenced harmonica, SHARKS provide an endless supply of subtle experimentation.

And if you're a fan of the Clash (which I know you are), you'll most likely fall in love with James Mattock's voice because the resemblance to Joe Strummer is uncanny. His voice carries the music all the way through without falter. The vocals here are strong, though, whether it's Mattock singing by himself, or the gang chiming in with him. It's sweet music to my ears either way.

With all the fast and heavy variations of punk out there today, it's nice to know that some bands like to find a nice medium between "roots rock" and a unique sound. SHARKS offer you a mature sound structure while still retaining the young, invigorating energy that makes The Joys of Living so incredible. Mr. Strummer would have been proud.


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundFucked Up - David Comes to LifeBomb the Music Industry! - VacationTouché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeThe Flatliners - CavalcadeRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing StillThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
wahhey (November 26, 2012)

just looked at the comment below.. so much for that huh?

Drewshaw (February 15, 2012)

I've been listening to this Album non stop for weeks and thought i'd see if it had been reviewed on here. It's funny because whenever I tell someone to listen to SHaRKS I always say it sounds like The Clash with a hint of The Jam for fans of early Gaslight. So I guess this review is pretty similar to how I feel.
Honestly don't think I've been this excited about a band since I first heard Sink Or Swim. Hopefully they gain the popularity of Gaslight without losing that edge.

alpod4 (July 23, 2011)

i can't listen to anything else right now. so good.

MN_DrNick (July 12, 2011)

Sooooo good!

dangerdangerdanger (May 18, 2011)

Great album. When I first heard it I thought to myself that this sounds like the Gaslight Anthem with a boner for Joe Strummer instead of the Boss.

Phantom_Maggot (May 17, 2011)

I am really excited about this album after listening to the stream. I am going to have to pick this one up.

frankthep (May 17, 2011)

Great album. I caught the show last week in West Chester and they were incredible. Seemed like good people and the duet with Chuck at the end was pretty good too. I def. here Gaslight, the Clash, Cast and the Replacements in thier sound. I hope they tour outside of the Warped Tour this summer as I am interested in seeing them again.

kev11n (May 17, 2011)

I like this a lot. It sounds like Neds Atomic Dustbin got old, had kids and the kids listened to their parents Clash and Jam records and started a better band.

BluthCo (May 17, 2011)

I hadn't heard of this band until today's reviews came out. I was thoroughly impressed with this release (thanks for the stream, Punknews).

sailin_on (May 17, 2011)

As an album, it's the first comparison that came to my mind as I wrote it down. There are probably plenty of other (and better) comparisons that you could point to a la The Replacements, but I wrote everything down as ideas went by me. To each his own I guess.

r3vengetherapy (May 17, 2011)

This is one of the better compilation albums out there. This band hasn't recorded anything bad, and I expect them to be huge one day.

I do find it kind of ridiculous to say they take influence from Gaslight though. Did they say that somewhere, or are you assuming? I have no idea why a band would take influence from Gaslight, because they might as well go ahead and just listen to the bands/artists that influenced Gaslight to begin with. Maybe it's just because I never understood the love for Sink or Swim, despite giving it many many chances. It never struck me as anything unique or special.

However, Sharks clearly have a massive amount of talent and potential, and we're only at the very beginning. I can't wait to see what they do next, because it might just be what elevates them to the level of popularity that Gaslight Anthem has, and they would deserve every bit of it.

chickswithdicks (May 17, 2011)

Best of the year so far for me.

sailin_on (May 17, 2011)

While I was writing this review I had this album playing and it brought me back to Sink or Swim for whatever reason. While not exactly the same, I think you can draw some similarities between the two bands. I think SHARKS has a lot of potential, and I look forward to their next release.

In other news, I recently had the pleasure of meeting Sam (the drummer for SHARKS I believe) and the man with the golden beard, Chuck Ragan himself outside of the Note in West Chester. My friend and I were not allowed entry because it was 21 and over (we found out when we got there). I did not have my license and my friend was 18. Anyway, Sam was really a great guy, we shot the shit for a while and I bought a T-shirt. Word got around that these kids were just standing outside waiting for something to happen and after talking to some bandmates, Chuck came up to us out of nowhere, apologizes about the circumstances and just hung out. I was fortunate enough to find out about his new album, and might I say, I'm impressed, especially with the guest line-up. Sorry if I stole any thunder from frankieboi but I had to get it out there.

superskabro (May 17, 2011)

phenomenal band. blew Chuck Ragan and Social D-bags out of the water! Buzz bands NEVER sound this good...

jrowe182 (May 17, 2011)

Sharks > Sink or Swim

oldpunkerforever (May 17, 2011)

I Like this alot, obvious Clash influence as well as The Jam, fun listen-oldpunker-

foolsgold (May 17, 2011)

Reminds me more of the Replacements than the Clash. The music doesn't have the same urgency of Gaslight's debut album (and, in my opinion, the band didn't intend for it to), so the comparison is a little misleading. A solid debut compilation but the ideas aren't fully developed yet, so it'll be interesting to hear what they do with their first full-length.

TSOL (May 17, 2011)

Loved this band but they don't have the same staying power Gaslight has had on me. Some of those songs have grown so annoying, I can't listen to this lp back to front anymore :/

kylewagoner (May 17, 2011)

I do love this album. Enough that I actually bought it as soon as I saw it, which is rare. Just so fresh and great!

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