REVIEW: AMERICAN SHARKS – INCLUDES “OVERDRIVE” VIDEO + TOUR DATES
American Sharks’ debut album was just released on the 17th of this month and the band is about to embark on an extensive tour with The Sword, which is fitting for a couple of reasons. First of all, American Sharks’ music is a delicious blend of stoner rock, sludge metal and punk that’s like The Sword after a major caffeine overdose. Secondly, the band’s manager is none other than The Sword’s own Kyle Shutt, who’s taken such an interest in the band that he wrote the treatment for their new video “Overdrive,” which was directed by Daniel Cummings and pays homage to the ’80’s cult classic Repo Man. This is what Shutt has to say about that: “When I first heard American Sharks’ music, I immediately thought that any of their songs could have been on the soundtrack to Repo Man, so I wanted to make their video an homage to that classic. Having a shoestring budget, we got four kegs and a mountain of veggie dogs and threw a house party that was almost too out of control to film. By the time we wrapped, the house was a wreck, Nick had almost burned the patio down with the BBQ pit, and I couldn’t even tell you how many laws we had broken. I wouldn’t have done it any other way, and I think we ended up with a solid video.”
It’s been a long time since I heard the Repo Man soundtrack, to tell you the truth, but I remember it being raw, edgy and kind of in-your-face. And that’s how I’d describe American Sharks. That being said, their music is more blistering than abrasive. Drummer Nick Cornetti pounds the skins furiously, like he’s in a serious metal band, but the beats are quite groovy, too. Everything about American Sharks’ music is groovy though. Singer/bassist Mike Hardin’s bass guitar licks are smooth and inviting, meanwhile Will Ellis’ guitars put forth oodles of fuzz and help string the melody along, too. As I said above, the band combine punk with sludge rock and stoner metal and that’s where Hardin’s vocals come into play, his style of singing definitely in the punk rock vein. And yet his vocals are also terrifically melodic. To my ears, his voice splits the difference between Motorhead’s Lemmy, Suicidal Tendencies’ Mike Muir and Ginger from The Wildhearts and Hey! Hello!.
The Sharks’ album is fairly short with only 9 songs, none of which even hit the three minute mark, but that’s just another thing that makes them punk rock: fast songs that take no time to get where they’re going. My personal favorites are the crunchy earworm of a lead single, “Overdrive,” the grinding, Black Sabbath-esque “Cocaine” and the Queens Of The Stone Age-ish “Indian Man.” If you like any of the bands I’ve compared the American Sharks to then I highly recommend you check them out. Not only do they sound inspired by those bands, they’re also in the same league in terms of their undeniable talent.
American Sharks’ self-titled new album was released on The End Records this week. Their music is a wonderful blend of stoner rock, metal and punk.
American Sharks will be opening up for Godflesh and Prurient at Irving Plaza on October 19th
TOUR DATES WITH CLUTCH AND THE SWORD:
Sun, 10/27 – Charleston, SC @ The Music Farm
Mon, 10/28 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
Tue, 10/29 – Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
Thu, 10/31 – Louisville, KY @ Expo Five
Fri, 11/01 – Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
Sat, 11/02 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
Mon, 11/04 – Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
Tue, 11/05 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Thu, 11/07 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
Fri, 11/08 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Sat, 11/09 – West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
Sun, 11/10 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Mon, 11/11 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Wed, 11/13 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater & Club
Thu, 11/14 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
Fri, 11/15 – Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion
Sat, 11/16 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
Sun, 11/17 – Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theatre
Tue, 11/19 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
Wed, 11/20 – Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theatre
Thu, 11/21 – Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
Fri, 11/22 – Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
Sat, 11/23 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.