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Shark Week: Beach Fuzz

With a name befitting their sound, Shark Week heads to the beach with copious amounts of fuzz, reverb and punk posturing in tow.

Shark Week

Beach Fuzz

Label: PaperCup Music
US Release Date: 2015-05-18
UK Release Date: 2015-05-18

As their name would suggest, Washington D.C.’s Shark Week have a decidedly beach-y vibe, cut through with a tone more menacing than carefree. It’s that sense of dread at what might be lurking just out of sight that informs their lyrics of heartache and regret, all shrouded in a highly stylized form of surf-informed garage rock. While their sound apes the spirit of the beach, its punk noir and spaghetti western underpinnings help make this more than a reductive exercise in genre experimentation. It’s a hybridization that largely feels more natural than forced.

But not everything works. On the slow “Scratching Post”, with its intro a clear approximation of “Heroin”, vocalist Ryan Hunter Mitchell does his best poor man’s Lou Reed. Clearly set up as an affecting moment, his clunky non-sequitors and basic rhyme scheme construction cause the song to fall flat. Fortunately, the majority of the album favors the band’s strong suit in faster, more punk-informed tracks that rely more on aggression than lyrical nuance. “Weekend” in particular is a standout, sounding like Richard Hell fronting a surf combo. Far from perfect, Beach Fuzz is an enjoyable release from a band who’s clearly having a good time having a bad time.


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