Release Date: Apr 30, 2013
Record label: Rise Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk Revival
Sharks sophomore album, 2013's Selfhood, is a melodic and catchy batch of guitar-driven pop that finds the band moving away from the hard-nosed punky style of their early EPs to a more mature, nuanced sound. Still led by singer/songwriter James Mattock, Sharks are less snarling in tone here and much more interested in crafting sparkling, hummable songs built upon guitarist Andrew Bayliss' arpeggiated guitar lines. Though there is still a no-nonsense vibe on Selfhood, Sharks seem less indebted to such punk icons as the Clash and Social Distortion, and more inclined toward the British folk-rock of Billy Bragg, Billy Childish, and even solo-career Morrissey.
If a band is labeled with a certain genre, then it’s inevitable that the band’s album ends up categorized accordingly. UK rock band Sharks were described in their press release for new album Selfhood as a punk band. As a punk album, then, Selfhood is bland and confused. Lead singer James Mattock attempted to clarify in an interview, stating, “We aren’t a punk band.” But as a straight rock album, Selfhood is middling and piece-meal, with influences pulled from all directions.