As you would imagine from a band name like This Is Shark Country, there is a real bite and unbridled tenacity to their sound; voracity bred in the fusion of technical metal and hardcore which the Berkshire quintet is increasingly becoming more and more acclaimed for. New EP, Chances, is further evidence to that fact and of the growing potency and potential the band embraces in their striking creativity; it a roar of four tracks fuelled by ire and sculpted with imagination seeded craft.
Formed in 2011, This Is Shark Country has also become renowned for their live hunger and prowess, a presence taking in most of the UK whilst sharing stages with the likes of ‘68 (ex-Norma Jean), Nexilva, Palm Reader, Exist Immortal and many more. Their debut album Saviour was uncaged in 2013 to keen fan and in some quarters, potent media attention. Taking a year to make, the Newbury band now unleashes Chances, an encounter revealing greater strength and invention in the band’s sound and songwriting which suggests that This Is Shark Country is a band bringing new adventure and striking promise to the UK hardcore scene.
The EP opens with Sitting Pretty and within a breath the guitars of Ben Mercer and Nick Blair are spinning a web of technical prowess and enticing expression, the bass of Jamie Holmes no slouch in gripping attention either with his lure of dark strings. Swiftly the song is a climatic affair, emotion and sound colluding as vocalist Oli Cole lays down an antagonism of voice and narrative within the blossoming tempest. Calm and elegant moments also add to the temptation of the song, their shining passages still prowled by the predatory tones of the bass within a constant rhythmic web swung by drummer Chris Sheen. The track is a potent and welcomingly unpredictable start to the EP but soon eclipsed by its successor.
Ghosting is reeled in on a punk infused hook, a bait of rock ‘n’ roll seared in gripping sonic endeavour. Continuing to entice, its lead in grows into a noise/alternative rock turbulence with rhythms a carnal attraction as the guitars create a virulently caustic rain of riveting enterprise. Though no lightweight when it comes to skills, the song is a more out and out rocker than the technical compulsion crafted by its predecessor, and in many ways, it is that impressively crafted punk ‘n’ roll fury which sees the release breach another plateau.
The EP’s title track is a similarly cultured blaze of hardcore contagion, though this time the djent sparked zeal of the band is entangled in the tendrils of melodic acidity and sonic imagination shaping the track. Of course Cole is straddling all with his undiluted bellow, his angst soaked delivery unafraid to tweak its attack to ensure even there some level of variety adds to the drama of the lively incitement. Becoming more antagonistic and bruising with every minute, its metal seeds gnawing at the senses as its punk heart roars, the song fiercely impresses before flowing into closing track Forever In Waiting.
Instantly an intimidating theatre lines the bait of riffs and bass, and almost as swiftly the guitars are wrapping it in a weave of rapacious invention and challenging intensity. More of a grower than the previous pair of offerings within Chances, the song blooms into another impressive provocation if one lacking that final decisive spark of others.
To go along with the press release for Chances, the EP is something fans of bands like Periphery, Every Time I Die, and Sikth will get a kick out of but there is plenty more to This Is Shark Country and their sound, some realised here and some as potential for their future maelstroms of imagination. What is very clear though is that the British hardcore/rock scene has another seriously stirring protagonist in the making.
The Chances EP is released November 13th through all stores and digital platforms.
Pete RingMaster 13/11/2015
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