Saturday, 24 March 2012

Review: Sharks - No Gods

 There's something charmingly surprising about the music found on No Gods, the debut release from Leamington Spa's Sharks. Surprising in the sense that from a glance, with the posing in black and white, cold expressions and somewhat bleak and album titling skills, I was expecting something more akin to the grim and relentlessly scathing hardcore battering of Converge or Touché Amoré, but it's not that at all. Yeah, it's pretty much the opposite.

 Instead, this album is very much bursting with a mass sweeping of warm positivity, as Sharks play their mod rock inspired songs with vibrant energy and charismatic performances. Songs like Matthew's Baby and Dawn Soft Light with their atmospheric guitar work from Andrew Bayliss and frontman James Mattock and pounding mod rock performance carries the spirit of traditional bands like The Clash and Social Distortion and to use a more modern comparison, carries a reminiscence to a more upbeat Ordinary Boys - in reference to their debut Over the Counter Culture, the only good work they've ever made.
 There's a real sense of rawness to the album and it's sparkling performance which elevates the freshness and punk dynamism offered in the likes of Arcane Effigies and On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself, which with their bouncy hooks makes them overall rousing performances that will engage listeners of all sorts. More than anything the sheer strength of these songs is a powerful feature on it's own. The band's homegrown roots and relentless international touring is reflected in the sheer sense of natural charisma and comradeship heard across the album.
 So, what more can I say? No Gods is home to some of the most whole-hearted, warm and uplifting punk songs heard in a long time. The genuineness behind these songs is unmistakeable and the passion with which they spread their songs of roughened beauty is undeniably poignant. Sharks are going to find themselves over the coming months to be a band that everyone will fall in love with.

 Sharks' No Gods is out now via Rise Records. The band will tour the UK from March-April with Crowns.

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