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Shark Island - Bloodline

Shark Island
by Dave Nowels at 27 January 2020, 10:49 PM

SHARK ISLAND are a Los Angeles band to it's core. Not just based in the City of Angels, but a living, breathing part of the city's Hollywood, Sunset Strip, Arena-rock culture, past and present. SHARK ISLAND have a long and complicated background and history, with a founding in 1979 and several albums under their belt. The band have even had previous singles featured in film soundtracks. In 1989, the bands songs “Dangerous” and “Father Time” were a part of “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure”, and “My City” in 1991's “Point Break”.

The “Bloodlines”album kicks off impressively with “Make A Move” and the fiery guitar shredding of Kane and Samic's styled ala Warren DeMartini. Stylistically, that RATT vibe pops up throughout the album. There's a sleazy substance to these songs that's hard to pin down. As the second track “Fire In The House”, and even “Law Of The Order” highlights, these are songs that build slowly, (sometimes frustratingly so) with the chorus the real focal point, For me, SHARK ISLAND sounds like one of those mid level bands that you really liked a few of their songs, but you're constantly disappointed that they struggle to put together a really solid album.

I found myself coming to odds with “Bloodlines” when the band tried branching away from their real comfort zone. Songs like “7 Tears” (too chaotic) and the balladish “On And On” ( Black has a weird Leonard Cohen vibe going here.) just miss for me. Even a mid-tempo track like “Policy Of Truth” seems like SHARK ISLAND are trying to hard to be something that they're not. But, there are certainly good efforts here. Highlights included “Rocks On The Rocks”, “Make A Move”, and “Butterfly”. It's just that the band seems best represented with the 80's metal vibe rather than putting on costumes.

Interestingly, the album was recorded in 432hz to enhance the process of 'deep listening'. “Bloodline” is recommended to be listened to with headphones for optimal sonic performance. The mix and production are really well done, and I have no doubt the suggested listening option is sensational. I just wish I had a stronger album to take them up on it. I won't say it's a wasted nuance, but it deserves more consistency. SHARK ISLAND have a lot of talent to be sure. I just think “Bloodlines” suffers to much from it's creative aspirations to create something new. I really wanted to like it, but it falls into mediocrity for me.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Make A Move
2. Fire In The House
3. Policy of Truth
4. Aktion Is
5. 7 Tears
6. Crazy Eights
7. Rock On The Rocks
8. Butterfly
9. When She Cries
10. Law of The Order
11. On And On 
Richard Black – Vocals
Alex Kane – Guitars
Damir Samic – Guitars
Christian Heilmann – Bass
Alen Frjlak – Drums
Record Label: Manifest Music


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Edited 28 September 2020

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