Shark Speed - Sea Sick Music (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Shark Speed

Sea Sick Music (2009)


Shark Speed's Sea Sick Music is an out-of-nowhere (Utah...same thing) debut that apparently reminds me much more of Minus the Bear than most other reviewers. Frankly, it's totally cool, because this is an enjoyable release with wonderful texture and great songs.

Vocalist/guitarist Thayne Fagg sounds pretty much like a quasi-British clone of MTB's Jake Snider, but again, the band isn't even British. Whatever. You're missing the point. This is mildly intricate, dancey math rock that never becomes excessively noodly or self-indulgent, and never actually nods to any particular era of that aforementioned band. It's less atmospheric and indebted to American Football than Highly Refined Pirates, but not as "detached cool" and chilly-sharp as Planet of Ice.

"I'm a Machine" is a superbly bustling, energetic early number where Fagg's impressive vocal range becomes very apparent while he puts forth lyrics just shy of spilling over the top ("I wanna D-E-L-E-T-E Y-O-U from the hard drive of my mind"). A rather well-integrated beat pervades the prickly "Freddy," while "And You Are in the Band?" seems to drive home the pros and cons of "band career" mode through intelligent repetition.

Though the highlights seem to come more early on than later, producing a somewhat top-heavy disc in the process, Sea Sick Music is a notably apt take on a suddenly familiar sound.

Every song on Sea Sick Music but "Sea Sick" (seriously, wtf?)