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Wehrmacht - Shark Attack (Reissue)

Shark Attack (Reissue)
by Barbie Rose at 25 February 2021, 1:31 AM

From Portland Oregon WEHRMACHT returns again with a March 5 2021 release entitled “Shark Attack”;  and a secondary March 5 2021 parallel release entitled “Biermächt”Prior releases include the following demos: 1985 “Blow You Away” & “Rehearsal ‘85”;  1986--“Death Punk”“Live At Pine St Theatre”, & “Beermacht”; 1987 saw full length full length release “Shark Attack”; 1989 saw full length release  “Biērmächt; 1989 saw compilation release “Shark Attack” & “Biērmächt (together); year 2009 saw compilation release “Hardcore Classix!”; 2010 saw release of E.P. “Fast As A Shark Attack” as well as the boxed set entitled “Viva Sharko”; year 2013 saw the release of video WEHRMACHT Attacks Los Angeles!” 2014 saw the release of “The Complete Beer Soaked Collection 1985/1989”; as well as two songs on a Limited Edition release entitled “Stolen Thoughts” - a recording that Australian band entitled DISINTEGRATOR also contributed songs.   
“Shark Attack” - the first album track opens with a chromatic “Jaws” theme opening slowly; and initially each note endures two beats played on the lower wound guitar strings--this pulse quickens as to recapture the dangerous anticipation of the approaching shark - reminiscent also of twentieth century composer IGOR STRAVINSKY’S “Rite Of Spring Augurs Of Spring”.  Shann Mortimer joins with a unison base solidifying both strength & intensity.  By thirty seconds whammy enhanced string bends wail, whine, & scream like the fearful cries of restless patrons struggling to depart shark infested water. At one minute Brian Lehfeldt plays an incredibly fast thrash beat.  Guitars have difficulty keeping pace--which at times Brian Lehfeldt adds accentuated snare patterns to assist the distempered guitars.  The rhythm guitars are incredibly fast - but can’t keep pace with the rhythm section of Brian Lehfeldt & Shann Mortimer.  At about three minutes twenty five seconds, we return to the chromatic Jaws theme - first just guitars, then Brian Lehfeldt uses the snare to help accelerate the tempo of the “Jaws” motif.       
“Blow You Away” - the second album track album track opens with low wailing whammy bends of the low e guitar string.  By one minute into the song - the subdivided drum beat speed is of such a velocity that the guitars are playing “a part” once removed--for better, or perhaps worse yet, the guitars playing two parts - twice removed from the rhythm section. Leads are blisteringly fast but unsynchronized with the drum beat or rhythm section. “S.O.P.” - the third album track opens with a drum solo.  Guitars and bass enter plucking idle strings to vainly resound in open isolated dissonance.  This culminates by thirty seconds into the song when “Lo & Behold”) a subdivided thrash beat creates a cacophony of speed that the winded guitar players struggle to meet.              
“Jabber Jaw” - the fourth album track starts with immensely fast single string quadruple picking on guitar and bass in Unison; while Brian Lehfeldt plays an incredibly fast double bass drum roll.  Yet before twenty seconds pass the listener loses all rhythmic accessibility.  There are short moments through this song during which individual band members play incredibly fast parts - and sound wonderfully; but when playing so fast simultaneously band members  are unable to convey a unison musical idea. “B.O.S. (Barrage Of Skankers)” - the fifth album track opens with a quick but accentuated subdivided beat - the guitars enter into a manageable rhythmic pattern--until just short of fifty seconds. At which point the band members under the influential goddess, Astraea - do just that turning the tune into “aimless discontinuity” - as a great professor of Dung & Din once phrased it. 
At every moment that WEHRMACHT comes together again - they seem to fall apart.
“United Shoebrothers” - the sixth album track roughly begins with Brian Lehfeldt adding a double bass drum foundation that the guitarists struggle in both rhythm and feel.   I hear influential bits from “Milk” by STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (a/k/a S.O.D.), but WEHRMACHT has failed to improve the musical joke, one that I enjoyed, that S.O.D. originated. “Concrete Meat” - the seventh album track might be my album favorite, as the band plays a fast & heavy groove at least for the better part of the initial minute. ”Puke” - the eighth album track sounds like a non-musical recorded version of the song title--in verb form. 
“Part II (Night Of Samhain)” - the ninth album track opens with speedy lead licks while rhythm guitars accompany the rhythm section to accentuate the down beat. For the verses rhythm guitars move at an impossible speed - unsynchronized with the rhythm section of Brian Lehfeldt & Shann Mortimer for non-sonorous sounds of sloppiness“Anti” - the tenth album track begins with quick pick up beats on the snare drum.  Rhythm guitars enter again without the rhythm section coordination of Shann Mortimer Brian Lehfeldt - and there is absolutely no groove for fist pounding tightness.  Does “Anti” oppose playing music as a cohesive group?  
“Napalm Shower” - the eleventh album track opens with more astounding uncoordinated speed among the rhythm guitars & together with the bass & drums.  There are a few moments between the chorus and the bridge toward the guitar solo that rhythmically sound together, but the guitar solo itself is seethingly fast - while Time is nothing but a magazine. “Crazy Ways People Die” - the twelfth album track opens with accentuated escape tones amidst the diatonic key that progresses to the root chord. Suddenly the drums enter into an incredibly fast thrash beat that the guitars of John Duffy & Marco “Sharko” Zorich struggle to keep pace. Is this the crazy way that bands die?          
Fretboard Gymnastics” - the thirteenth album track opens in minor with slightly distorted guitar strings. Brian Lehfeldt plays a beat that the band can handle, until about forty sends pass--when all Hell breaks loose & the various deities scatter. At about one minute twenty seconds Brian Lehfeldt rolls along a nice double bass foundation for the gymnasts to strum their strats (to mostly canter) along in time--mostly, as the band recapitulates to a modified head theme and the deities meet again for hugs & tongue in-cheeky kisses. Yet again by about one minute forty seconds or so, the deities (word is that one guitar player plucked the guitar strings of the other) - and all Hell broke loose again (I didn’t see the skirmish but I heard about it - and it didn’t sound pretty…). At about two and one half minutes- they enter into a rhythmic pattern with partial success. Brian Lehfeldt & Shann Mortimer are doing well - while the guitars try to etch out an ascending line (or something?) too - but they seem too injured from the previous brawl to participate.  The band  sounds best when Brian Lehfeldt lays down a smooth double bass drum pattern.       
“Termination” - The fourteenth album track opens with quadruple picking of single strings of both the guitars and bass.  Based on chromatics around the tonic and those of the dominant before relentless speed begins on the drums unsynchronized with the rhythm guitars.  At about two minutes - the song enters into a bridge with a slower tempo and the band members reunite--but the togetherness only endures for less than fifteen seconds - and then again  re-disperse among the rhythmic spectrum--though we hear them playing simultaneously, each marches to the beat of his own drummer rather than Brian Lehfeldt.       
Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Shark Attack
2. BlowYou Away
3. S.O.P
4. Jabber Jaw
5. B.O.S. (Barrage Of Skankers)
6. United Shoebrothers
7. Concrete Meat (Bonus track)
8. Puke
9. Part II (Night Of Samhain)
10. Anti
11. Napalm Shower
12. Crazy Ways People Die
13. Fretboard Gymnastics
14. Termination
Eric Helzer - Vocals
John Duffy - Guitar
Marco “Sharko” Zorich - Guitar
Shann Mortimer - Bass
Brian Lehfeldt - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 15 April 2021

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