Sunday, 5 July 2009

Review - Shark Speed - Sea Sick Music

Shark Speed - Sea Sick Music

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7 out of 10

If the 00's are going to be remembered for one musical trend, it's going to be the four to the floor drum beat. The one that goes "dum tish dum tish" or, more accurately, "kick, hi-hat, snare, hi-hat"; it got everywhere in the last ten years. It's pretty much because of the post-punk revival, too many bands with a copy of Entertainment! and a thin sounding guitar. Well it's finally permeated its way into emo. Sea Sick Music starts off well with the opening bars of 'Cast Off Dance Off' sounding like Midwestern emo at its finest - there's even a trumpet and you can't get more Midwest than that - but then they cast off the emo and turn up the dance and it turns into a slightly weak Minus The Bear impression, complete with drum machine break. 'Seagulls' features more Minus The Bear-isms; it starts with a slow part against a drum machine before the fast part comes in with syncopated drums and widdly guitars.

In the press release it mentions a review where Shark Speed were compared to Franz Ferdinand as if it was the most ridiculous thing in the world, but it's not that far from the truth. Here's why: firstly there's the abundance of disco drumbeats, which Franz Ferdinand are also guilty of (it's that whole post-punk revival thing). Secondly, despite Shark Speed being from Utah, their singer sounds like he's from Wakefield. This is no bad thing in itself, but couple an English sounding singer with one too many disco beats and you've got yourself a Franz Ferdinand comparison.

At one point he sings, "You can do better"; pretty emo, but also pretty good advice for Shark Speed. Sea Sick Music is not a bad record but it's also no great record. They could do well to take their own advice and try and write something better as they're no doubt capable. They could also with having a word with the drummer and getting him to alter his playing a bit. Seriously, less hi-hat in the monitor please.


1. Cast Off Dance Off
2. I'm A Machine
3. Freddy
4. Battle Born
5. Seagulls
6. And Your In The Band?
7. Deep South Detox
8. Man Of Sass
9. Sea Sick
10. Ten to Twenty Years

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