SHARKS - Shallow Waters (Cover Artwork)

SHARKS

SHARKS: Shallow Waters

Shallow Waters (2009)

self-released


4.5
Occasionally a band leaps out of nowhere and knocks you for six when you are least expecting it; SHARKS are one of those bands. Hailing from a town called Leamington Spa in the English Midlands, the four-piece recently signed a single deal with Atticus Black and have been generating hype in the main...

Occasionally a band leaps out of nowhere and knocks you for six when you are least expecting it; SHARKS are one of those bands. Hailing from a town called Leamington Spa in the English Midlands, the four-piece recently signed a single deal with Atticus Black and have been generating hype in the mainstream music press off the back of nationwide tours with the likes of Gallows and Lostprophets.

But as is so rare these days, behind the hype there is more than the usual P.R.-generated bluster, for SHARKS are a band who have something genuine to offer. With the backing of Atticus, you might expect the musical excretions of four hapless hipsters--but on the contrary, what Sharks provide with debut EP, Shallow Waters, is five blasts of fresh air: youthful punk rock that wears its heart on its sleeve, with style and substance in equal measure.

The music is not groundbreaking but neither is it generic. Brilliant opener "Yours to Fear" displays a confidence rarely found in bands this young, as with ease they offer up a set of songs that surpass in quality anything being offered by their peers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The songs are complemented by production that is the perfect compromise between polished and raw. Additionally, over the course of the EP's 14-minute duration there are strong echoes of everything from the Clash and Hüsker Dü to Rancid and Dead to Me, each molded into something else, something that sounds only like SHARKS.

You can hear it on "Fallen on Deaf Ears" and also on "It Threatens"--it's the sound of a band on the brink of something. "There just aren't many bands with substance these days," said guitarist Andrew Bayliss in a recent interview, and he was right--which is precisely why if SHARKS continue on their current course, it won't be long before they conquer the world; that is, if the pressure of the hype machine doesn't kill them first.

Shallow Waters is available for free download here.