Written by: PP on 27/07/2013 01:32:28

Just over a year after releasing "No Gods", the British alternative rock/punk rock darlings Sharks are back with a new album called "Selfhood". They've since then called it a day as a band, probably because of how uninspired and bland "Selfhood" sounds in comparison to its two predecessors. This, my friends, is how Gaslight Anthem and The Clash worship sounds like on complete autopilot, when a band has ran out of ideas on how to expand on their own identity or sound, and are instead forced to essentially re-create "No Gods" in version two, just with worse songs.

The initial impression is good, though. "Selfhood" is a chilled out piece, but it's so catchy it's almost unreal. "Your Bloody Wings" has some more expansive songwriting and more classical influences, so this one works as well. From here onwards, however, the songs just hang about in their mid tempo delivery without ever really going anywhere. They all sound alike with little if any differentiation from song to song. That's not necessarily a problem as long as you write quality songs, but here, Sharks opt for a standard fare clean singing over safe and predictable guitars. American Steel, The Cold Beat and others have all written these same songs way better. Sharks themselves have done that on the two albums that preceded this one, too. Most of the time I find myself waiting for something to happen in the songs, for the buildup to unleash a magic moment that'd push a song over to being a good/great song instead of just average, but that never happens.

"Selfhood" is a major let down for those reasons, but also because Sharks was touted as one of the best new bands to have come out of Britain in a while. They had potential to reach out to the radio stations and mainstream crowds with their polished and safe Americana rock sound (Springsteen influenced and all), but fail to write catchy enough songs on "Selfhood" to really make a difference.

Download: Selfhood, Your Bloody Wings, Portland
For the fans of: American Steel, The Gaslight Anthem, The Clash, The Cold Beat
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.04.2013
Rise Records / Velvet Scene

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