In 2012 UK punk band Sharks came onto the scene and really surprised a lot of people with their driving, thunderous debut No Gods. Now, merely a year later, they’re back with their sophomore release Selfhood. I saw them last year open up for Frank Turner and Social Distortion at the Fox and I thought I’d seen the second coming of Green Day or even, dare I say it, The Clash. After the show we sat in the dressing room and I turned into a gushy fan boy explain how much I loved their set. But James, lead singer of the Sharks, said instead, “Nah, that wasn’t good. We can do better.”
I was taken aback at the candor of such an unseasoned musician. Here we were in one of the biggest venues in Northern California on their first US tour and he’s slamming himself for not being better. Then I heard the song that we’re going to debut for you today and I realized in one short year they’ve grown into a tighter more fun band. It’s reminiscent of the jump Green Day made from Kerplunk to Dookie.
To hear James Mattock talk about it you’d think they conjured up the whole record in the studio. “The whole approach with this record from the beginning was to have the process be very reckless and fun, and for every decision and idea not to be pondered on or over thought. We set ourselves no more than three months to write this record, with no songs written going into the studio. We wanted to set ourselves these targets as a way to really capture a moment an important aspect in making an album.”
And they did it well. If I might leave you with one more salvo before I introduce you to their latest song, Mattock says something so profound that I was struck by its maturity and I felt it was a credo all musicians should strive to achieve, “All we desire to achieve is the connection of an emotion sincerely felt.”
Selfhood can be preordered here and will be available April 30th. This new song is entitled “Portland”.