Although the name is very suggestive, AMERICAN SHARKS are not vicious sea creatures from the Wild West. They are, in fact, a Punk band (from the Wild West). Hailing from the United States and based in Texas, the three-piece are inspired by groups such as IGGY AND THE STOOGES and NEW YORK DOLLS, and are described as “seventies rock and punk with a metallic 1990's sheen”. Their self-titled album is one to check out – the music is energetic, the riffs are distorted, and the vocals are gruff: all the key elements of Punk Rock are featured in this 9-track release.
The longest track on “American Sharks” is 2:52, so if you’re looking to have a quick listen, you’ll get through the whole album in no time. Short and sharp is the best way to do things as far as Punk is concerned – and these guys are certainly that. The opening track “Iron Lung” kicks things off with a grungy vibe, with a deep riff that creates a disgruntled mood. The drums keep things steady with a funky beat, and Mike Hardin’s gravelly voice completes the short but funky song. Next up, Will Ellis’s distorted guitar gets the listener into “Overdrive”. The brief melodic solo which makes an appearance shakes things up a bit; going nicely with Nick Cornetti’s clashing cymbals. The drumming has the honour of kick-starting the following track, the aptly-named “Satan’s Overture Pt. I”. The instruments and vocals effectively set up a sombre atmosphere with a fast tempo, and again a solo provides some variety. Track number 4 has a rather distressing intro – “Indian Man” opens with a beat that gets faster and faster, building up the tension. The bass work by Hardin is groovy in this one, fitting nicely with the guitar and drums. “XVI” is another disturbing one, with a deep and malevolent voice taking over the intro. Following that, AMERICAN SHARK resume their usual sound, with repetitive, upbeat riffs and steady drumming, fronted by Hardin’s disgruntled shouts. The next track takes a similar approach to “Indian Man”, with a rapid beat introducing the song, which rises to a crescendo. “Freak Out” remains quite unnerving throughout, with “Freak out” repeated frequently to get the listener hyped. “Demon With A Glass Sword” and “Cocaine” are much the same as the previous tracks: short, sharp, and Punk. The final track “11-11” is consistent to the rest of the album, and completing it with an energetically- punk bang. AMERICAN SHARKS certainly have a recognisable sound.
If you love all things Punk, AMERICAN SHARKS’s self-titled release is one for you. Although the songs are very similar, their sound is distinct, setting them apart and making them memorable after the first listen.
1. Iron Lung 2. Overdrive 3. Satan’s Overture Pt. I 4. Indian Man 5. XVI 6. Freak Out 7. Demon With A Glass Sword 8. Cocaine 9. 11-11
Mike Hardin – Vocals/Bass Will Ellis – Guitar Nick Cornetti – Drums