SHARKS - No Gods (Cover Artwork)


SHARKS: No GodsNo Gods (2012)
Rise Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

What the reverse Epitaph is going on with Rise Records? In the span of just over a year they've gone from dabbling in primarily electronica-tinged metalcore with hideously misogynistic lyrics and unlistenable breakdowns to releasing of string of fantastic, intelligent punk rock albums, and No Gods, .
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What the reverse Epitaph is going on with Rise Records? In the span of just over a year they've gone from dabbling in primarily electronica-tinged metalcore with hideously misogynistic lyrics and unlistenable breakdowns to releasing of string of fantastic, intelligent punk rock albums, and No Gods, the long-awaited debut full-length from Leamington Spa, U.K. youngsters SHARKS is among the best of the bunch.

Let's get the lazy comparisons out of the way, yes SHARKS sound like the Clash. Probably more so than most bands that have ever tried, primarily due to frontman James Mattock's vocals, which are a dead ringer for Joe Strummer's. And yes, the group's time spent touring Europe with the Gaslight Anthem has certainly rubbed off on them, most prominently in the lead guitar department. So while SHARKS might not be breaking much new ground musically, they are bringing a ton of heart, energy and craftsmanship to the table on No Gods.

From the onset of opener "Til the Wonders Rise," it's clear that SHARKS have matured and refined their sonic attack. The song's punchy guitars and stop-start rhythms feel more fully developed than anything from their early EPs. First single "Arcane Effigies" fares even better, showcasing muscular guitar riffs and an absolutely gorgeous chorus with background "whoas" aplenty. The absolutely gigantic production present on No Gods, courtesy of Brian McTernan, helps elevate these songs from simple punk rock tunes into full blown anthems.

The distant strings featured on "Luck," as well as the country overtones of "On a Clear day You Can See Yourself" and the blaring horn section on "Patient Spider," showcase a willingness to experiment, and suggest that the group has spent just as much time listening to Sandinista! as it has to Give ‚??Em Enough Rope.

SHARKS have crafted their finest work yet with No Gods, an exciting, ambitious album that falls more into the "rock" sector of the punk rock spectrum than anything else. They wear their influences on their sleeves and still manage to sound fresh and modern, making for an engaging listen front to back. Now can the U.S. please get a Frank Turner/SHARKS/Apologies, I Have None British Invasion tour?


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsSHARKS - The Joys of Living 2008-2010Classics of Love - Classics of LoveBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimApologies, I Have None - LondonFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesDead To Me - Moscow Penny Ante

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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.
darthauctora16 (April 2, 2012)

http://fortheloveofpunk.com/reviews-sharks-no-gods-what-happened -to-fist-clinched-full-of-hate/

what do yall think of this review?? kind of negative. Fair though.

dangerdangerdanger (March 23, 2012)

err last post I mean.

dangerdangerdanger (March 23, 2012)

The first post nailed it, I like it but am disappointed and expected better.
It starts off great, the first 3 tracks work very well together but then the rest of the album falls apart and is very hit or miss.

fattony (March 21, 2012)

After a few listens, I like it but I'm disappointed. My expectations were pretty high though, so maybe it'll take some time before I have a fully-formed opinion of it. Also, the Clash/Strummer comparisons don't really apply anymore. Maybe that was a conscious decision on the band's part, since pretty much everything I've read about them included that comparison (to be fair, I do hear it a bit in their previous stuff).

TheLastLivingKid (March 21, 2012)

I don't hear any Strummer in his voice at all. Maybe if Joe's voice were higher and more nasal.

xjeffersonx (March 20, 2012)

queens english 'punk rock' - daddys fat wallet 'rock n roll' - the guys offered a fight with me in southampton coz i asked them if they liked the Clash. Guys are from leamington for christ sake, home of cocky spolied lil pretty boys. Andrew, you're not Pete Townsend, your a loser that posts pretentious crap on twitter. The drummer guy, we know you like weed & want to impress trash talk but give it a rest. If the singer still wants to fight people that ask him if he likes the clash, he best get good with his fists and stop pouting. New guy i've never met, i'll give him benefit of doubt.

telegraphrocks (March 20, 2012)

Haven't heard the album yet, but I hate the artwork. Reminds me of one of my mom's old cookbooks from when I was in grade-school.

CityRocker (March 20, 2012)

1. 'Til The Wonders Rise - great 'intro song' 7/10
2. Arcane Effigies - fast, great melody, stands out on album 9/10
3. Able Moving Hearts - fantastic guitar/similar to gaslight 8/10
4. On A Clear Day You Can See Yourself - wooo, what happened, slower different, but they pull it off 6/10
5. Matthew's Baby - the guitar player's 'baby' ? 6/10
6. Patient Spider - not in my top five from the album yet one listen and it's in your head for a week!!! 7/10
7. Turn To You - slows the album down, kinda album filler 5/10
8. Dawn Soft Light - too similar to previous song
9. What Entails? - catchy riff, great vocals, fantastic chorus, and mid 8 is huge! best song on the album 10/10
10. Luck - good 'rock' song, backing vocals are nice 7/10
11. No Gods - fantastic production and overall sound, ends album memorably! 9/10

kylewagoner (March 20, 2012)

The first sentence all the way.

AK3punk (March 20, 2012)

Awesome album. I saw these guys in Calgary last year w/ Mockingbird Wish Me Luck. No exaggeration, there was only 7 people at the show. They still killed it. I hope this band does well, good musicians and good guys.

kylekrische19 (March 20, 2012)

bunch of straight up wankers

IllaZilla (March 20, 2012)

I'm going to pick this up after work, because I thoroughly enjoyed The Joys of Living as well as both times I saw them in 2011 (Warped Tour and the AP Tour). However, I don't see the Clash comparison except for bit of reggae/ska rhythm in the song "The Joys of Living" (I don't yet know if there's anything like that on this new disc). I consider them much more of a British Replacements.

MN_DrNick (March 20, 2012)

They sound nothing like the Clash aside from the vocals sounding similar to Strummer. But on that note, I really enjoyed this one.

spoon_of_grimbo (March 20, 2012)

i hated this band when i saw them live in their hometown a few years back. lots of pouting and posing and fuck all in the way of songs. a couple of years later i hear the "show of hands" ep and think "this is alright, if only the singer would stop over-exaggerating his strummer impression." and now that he has, they've produced what, on first couple of listens, seems to be a fucking solid album. i quite like the lighter touch (both vocally and musically) compared to the older stuff. i bought this using a store credit note that was gonna expire and i couldn't find anything else i wanted - i wasn't expecting much, but it's surprisingly good!

cringeRadio (March 20, 2012)

It's better than the last Gaslight Anthem record.

Cos (March 20, 2012)

I always say they sound more like The Jam with Joe Strummer singing instead of Paul Weller. The songs are good and fun but yeah, they look a little too "professional" onstage. To the guy's point below, they're definitely more of a rock band than anything.

crackpotdemagogue (March 20, 2012)

The Clash comparison doesn't extend much beyond the band's swagger and the fact that they are English. In my view this is a poor review that fails to consider the bigger picture, and the reference to Sandinista! is ridiculous. No Gods is a more conservative set of songs than those on Shallow Waters. It's a good album, but I'm disappointed by it.

jcruz915 (March 20, 2012)

Still haven't listened to this... gotta get on that.

Countchocula (March 20, 2012)

Sorry, I've read all the comments from everyone tossing themselves senseless over this band on here since their first record but I just don't see it, just sounds like more boring indie radio shit to me. Go listen to the Ten O Sevens if you want a Clash-a-like from London

BikeMordy (March 20, 2012)

And for the record, the singer doesn't sound anything like Joe Strummer. What the hell is this reviewer talking about? If ANYTHING, there are riffs that are kind of ape-ing the Clash, but it's in a really sterile way. If you played this for someone who actually saw the Clash play in the 70s and said it sounded like them they'd probably laugh in your face. It's not a fair comparison. This is a rock band. They're alright, but they ain't no Clash.

sundowning10 (March 20, 2012)

Really good. I enjoy this so much. Saw them at Warped last year in front of a crowd of 10 people...was such a shame, but they played with the same heart and energy as if it was a huge crowd. Much respect.

BikeMordy (March 20, 2012)

No, they don't sound like the Clash. I bought the album (stupidly) because of that comparison. I should have listened to it first. My bad. I don't know...it might be an okay album but the fact that I was expecting Clash-like punk rock makes it hugely disappointing to me. It's really produced and clean and doesn't sound like 70s punk. Once again, my mistake for not researching enough. But damnit!

mclz (March 20, 2012)

Do these guys actually sound like the Clash? I wanna know if I should actually check them out then.

kidgotham (March 20, 2012)

Solid release, and an even more solid review.

r3vengetherapy (March 20, 2012)

It takes a few listens for it to grow on you if you're a fan of their previous material, because it lacks some of the speed and roughness of a lot of the other songs, which is what I'm missing here. However, it's pretty goddamn good. This doesn't sound like a band of guys in their early 20's; there's a lot of maturity in the songwriting. I've found that I like every song, though some are better than others. "Luck" may be my favorite though.

I've been saying it since I heard the first EP they released, and it only seems more obvious after hearing this: this band can be hugely popular, and probably will be. As long as they keep making music like this, I'm okay with that.

stephenharris (March 20, 2012)

It's a pleasant listen, but doesn't grab me like a real shark would.

insinceredave (March 20, 2012)

To Gherkin "Anyone who thinks Frank Turner & Sharks are 2 of the best UK bands right now seriously needs to take the time to listen to more UK bands that aren't just presented to them on a plate by major labels." That‚??s a bit harsh. At the end of day this an American based website, many of the bands you mentioned have never toured US. I live in the UK and we do have some great bands that aren‚??t covered, but the fact that these are does get people interested in the UK scene, which at the moment is booming. Did anyone go to ManchFESTer this weekend? Awesome sets from Great Cynics and Calvinball. Well Wisher were pretty darn good as well!!

gherkin (March 20, 2012)

Anyone who thinks Frank Turner & Sharks are 2 of the best UK bands right now seriously needs to take the time to listen to more UK bands that aren't just presented to them on a plate by major labels. Off the top of my head I can think of... OK Pilot, Murderburgers, The Amistad, Zapiain, Above Them, Down & Outs, Zatopeks, Bangers, The Arteries, Great Cynics, Great St Louis, Pacer, Dauntless Elite and The Magnificent. There are a bunch of others like Calvinball, Leagues Apart, Dividers, Martha, Little Ease who are all great but haven't released albums yet.

**I haven't heard this album yet, it might be fantastic or it might be really boring and overrated like the last one**

danperrone (March 20, 2012)

decent, not great. really sags in the middle with "turn to you" and "dawn soft light" and some other songs just have no bite to them. maybe it'll grow on me.

misterspike (March 20, 2012)

So Freaking Good.

damnitsderek (March 20, 2012)

Hoo boy, this is a good one. One of my favorites of 2012 so far.

loseyourillusion1 (March 20, 2012)


well 2nd best counting crazy arm or top 5 if your including apologies i have none and great cynics.

Come to think of it The Cut-ups and bangers are probably better, so top in the top 10 UK bands, definitly without a shadow of a doubt.

Actually, Above Them, dissociates, as we sink!, Sauna Youth and are all far more interesting, definitly have a more original and exciting sounds, so they're the 10th best UK band right now, as sam russo's definitly not a band last time i checked.

oh crap forgot ONSIND and Calvinball


screamager (March 20, 2012)

Very good review but I have problem with the "SHARKS have crafted their finest work yet with No Gods," phrase. I know they have couple EP's and singles but LP is somewhat different kind of beast. I think we need time and perspective to decide that.

MDJoyce (March 20, 2012)

I like this album. It's just what I need in this gulf-stream early summer while kicking around Chicago. "Patient Spider," "No Gods," "Arcane Effigies"--these are some of the SHARKS best to date.

Still, I've got to say, I was a tad disappointed that along with the wonderful refinement of their musical sound, they seem to have opted for a considerably subdued vocal style. Subdued to the hipster level. It's the same reason I can't get into the Sundials--where's the fire? Where's that Strummer-esque snarl from their older songs like "Trains" and "It Threatens"?

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