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 Misc. No Gods reviews

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PostSubject: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:56 am

The Review Spider

Rating: 4/5

For the last few months or so, my good friend and fellow reviewer Michael Tahmasian and I have been making fun of Rise Records for the fact that all their bands “sound the same.” We even found a sweet parody song that stresses this fact. So, now you’re probably ready for me to start writing about English punk quartet Sharks‘ album No Gods. Well, if there’s one single thing you should know about it, it’s living proof that Rise Records isn’t all about a “clean chorus” or “slowing down the breakdown.” No Gods is a crafty album full of smooth hooks, wondrous guitar riffs, and a contrasting slick-rawness that makes it an early contender for pop-punk Album of the Year.

No Gods is a feel-good album from start to end. These Brits sure know how to make music that plots both nostalgia and happiness in a sleek, well-congregated package. Though there is nothing particularly stunning about Sharks’ sound, it sure does feel fresh; production-wise, the album is great. Crescent guitars lurk around every corner, emitting graceful riffs and a bounty of chords that bask in the greatness of chilly summer nights. The distorted drum hits add a bit of rawness to the band’s sound, while the voice of James Mattock sounds less punk influenced on this record than on 2011′s The Joys of Living and almost suitable for an edgy 70s jazz-rock club. Good thing there are hints of jazz in the guitars and even background horns in “Patient Spider” to reinforce this aura of musicality. Every song isn’t complete without a compelling hook – thanks to the band’s anthemic poppy writing style – with my single favorite coming in “Arcane Effigies.”

Songs like the opener, “‘Til The Wonders Rise,” are full of snazzy melodies and lustrous, yet nearly clouting beats that come from the instrumentals as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. “On A Clear Day You Can See Yourself” has a strung-along feel that is somewhat reminiscent of acts like Social Distortion and maybe even a less processed version of Green Day. “Turn To You” gives off more nostalgic vibes than any other track, mostly thanks to its candy-coated guitar lines and fluid vocal delivery, complete with choral “oh-oh-ohs.” Though the first half of the record is arguably better than the second, some of the hidden gems are found in tracks like “What Entails?,” a song that smells like Springsteen and sounds like a more pungent version of The Clash.

Forget about gimmicks, this is real, pure music coming from one of the best up-and-coming punk bands. Due to its easy listenability, No Gods is an album that can be picked up and enjoyed at any time. Just as Transit and Man Overboard made their impact last year with breakthrough records on Rise, Sharks should be hopping on a similar train this year with No Gods. It proves that though Rise Records will forever be known as the label that brought metalcore to where it is today, they actually have a very keen eye when it comes to signing great alternative and punk acts, and there’s no doubt from hearing No Gods that Sharks is definitely one of those bands.


http://thereviewspider.net/2012/03/no-gods-sharks/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:58 am

Caught in the Crossfire

In Sharks’ debut full-length, they’ve married an old-school punk spirit with a love of bands like Joy Division and Nick Cave. Creating an aesthetic steeped in punk rock influences like The Clash and The Buzzcocks but with a lighter more radio friendly feel, Sharks are definitely going to be winning over more fans this year. The band have been busy working the US hard on tour with the likes of Social Distortion. But in the UK they’ll be hitting the road with indie darlings Tribes. Their touring partners certainly reflect the flexibility of their sound and the ability for their rousing working class anthems to fit into numerous scenes and genres. Sharks also have ground in common with the likes of The Gaslight Anthem as they purvey a similarly accessible punk-infused brand of simple rock songs.

James Mattock’s earnest vocals are endearing and take turns with some pure rocking guitar riffs which are simple but wholly encompass the band’s approach – straightforward songwriting with catchy tunes and subtle instrumentation. Lead single ‘Arcane Effigies’ is a lilting number with minimal lyrical content but a charm that draws you in. ‘Luck’ features some beautiful-sounding guitar patterns that although they’re very prominent, blend perfectly into the texture of the music and exhilarate the listener in what is otherwise a fairly downbeat track.

Somewhat of an anomaly on US label Rise Records’ roster (primarily known for its championing of various metalcore bands), there is definitely something retro about Sharks. But in the best possible way. They’ll definitely have your feet tapping and before you know it you’ll be singing along with as much heart as is present in this debut from the band.


http://www.caughtinthecrossfire.com/music/sharks/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:01 am

Sputnik Music

Rating: 4.0/5.0 users:3.8/5.0

Having played alongside bands such as the Gaslight Anthem, Gallows, and Crime in Stereo, Sharks are by no means newcomers to the music scene. However, it is hard for a band to truly establish themselves without first having a full length album under their belt. This was the case for the English punk rockers in Sharks up until the recent release of their debut LP, No Gods: a lighthearted and thoughtfully-written album that confirms the talent demonstrated by Sharks’ on their two previous EPs. The band’s driving and undeniably charming brand of accessible punk (more suitably called alternative on this release) proves that they are not trying to be anything other than what they are: four guys brought up on punk music looking to return the favor.

While Sharks’ aesthetic appearance may be rough (and a bit pseudo/thrift store punk, for that matter), their sound is almost nothing of the sort. No Gods, quite simply, is the sound of summer, and the driving rock guitar leads and smoothly flowing vocals can be appreciated by almost anyone who can tolerate distortion. Truthfully, Sharks would not be out of place on a Top 40-playing radio station (though the band would likely shudder at that notion). What separates Sharks from other similar sounding bands who have reached mainstream success is their authenticity and undeniable writing talent.

No Gods is lyrically clever and genuine in all aspects. Front man James Mattock cites Charles Bukowski as an influence for his writing, and though Mattock’s lyrics are not as plainly spoken as Bukowski’s work, they are delivered with the same honest perspective. At the end of “Til’ the Wonders Rise,” Mattock sings, in a manner almost too personal to dislike, “We’re the underestimated underdogs/what you await for us you can get for yourself.” “Patience Spider” exhibits more of Mattock’s writing prowess through the use of metaphors and vivid imagery which, combined with infectiously catchy hooks, makes No Gods engaging throughout its forty-minute entirety.

The same areas in which No Gods excels may be criticized by some for being “too poppy” or hook driven, especially for a band frequently labeled as punk. However, one must keep in mind that Sharks are a relatively well-known band signed to a recognizable record label – naturally they will not be as raw sounding as the cassette and vegan brownie-selling bands that played your basement last night.

No Gods is a more refined and focused approach to punk that should not be overly-judged for its soft exterior, but instead sung along to wholeheartedly. In reality, the songwriting quality and gigantic choruses make up for the album’s explicit poppiness, leaving little to be criticized anyway. So, tack Sharks’ latest release onto your summer playlist next to The Menzingers and Cheap Girls, for No Gods is an album you should not have to spend the season without.


http://sputnikmusic.com/review/48740/Sharks-No-Gods/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:05 am

Basement Brain


'No Gods' may be a debut album, but it doesn't feel like the start of a new band. Sharks are the band championed by the likes of Frank Carter, who took them on tour with Gallows in 2009 in the belief they were the embodiment of "proper punk". 'Punk' of course is more than cut throat vocals and antagonistic guitars, it's a state of mind. There's an infinite amount of bands today that look the part of angsty anarchist youths, but there's much fewer bands like Sharks that convince you they're in this because they've actually got something interesting to say. Instead of saying "fuck off" for the sake of saying fuck off, they make music with a heartbeat that kicks with a lasting, earnest bruise.

'No Gods' is on the whole a sleeker Sharks. That needs to be said outright. The visceral edge that left tyre tracks across the conscious mind of the punk underground, and even the hardcore crowd is now slightly foamier in places, however that's no slight on the band to point out. There's still the same punching heartbeat as before, it's just bigger and more inviting.

Previous compilation album 'The Joys Of Living 2008-2010', which banded together EP's 'Show of Hands' and 'Shallow Waters', now feels like Chapter 1 of a story, and 'No Gods' is a self-sufficient second chapter in a tale worth hearing.

Singer James Mattock has a slick gravel-roll to his vocals. Amongst the intuitive riffs and grounded foundation, it's the way his vocals coat the lyrics that gives Sharks that extra gravity and soul, elevating them stories above being just another band of ruff uns with guitars. 'There is a hole in my life I lost to luck' he sings on 'Luck', and you believe it, too.

'Able Moving Hearts' has a chorus thicker than pebble-dashed blood, while 'Arcane Effigies' could fit bang in the middle of their 'Shallow Waters' EP with it's skinhead-rousing howls.

'Matthew's Baby' is a speaker stack nosedive into a mid-70's underground bar, while closer 'No Gods' is a crowd-doubling hit that will surely see them swallowed up by festival crowds just a few months down the line.

There's more certainty than ever in this debut that you'll see them in larger ponds in the near future, but if that's the case at least they'll be heading there with all the feral power we loved in the first place. Check those dates out above too, they're hitting the road this weekend.

http://basementbrain.blogspot.se/2012/03/sharks-no-gods-album-review.html
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:14 am

Project: Northern Monkey

Rating: 9/10

Set to play the Star & Garter in just a few days, UK punk-rockers Sharks present No Gods, their highly anticipated debut full-length:

Although many fans will remember last year’s The Joys of Living 2008 – 2011, that was more a collection of previous recordings.

This week, the quartet released their first album “proper”, which sees James Mattock and co. build on their great reputation by matching and exceeding all expectations.

No Gods is a record that will certainly succeed in pleasing fans of the band whilst providing a fantastic introduction to the un-initiated.

The album perfectly demonstrates the influences explored on The Joys of Living, balancing the sound of The Clash and Social Distortion with the likes of Joy Division with a hint of reggae.

Combining grassroots punk and rock beats with an almost pop sensibility across the album’s 11 infectious tracks, this album paints Sharks as a band made for summer festivals.

No Gods confirms what this reviewer wrote after hearing The Joys of Living – this band may well be their generation’s answer to Social Distortion.

In no way belittling the unique sound Sharks have developed, it’s not that they immediately sound like Mike Ness and band.

Rather, the comparisons come with subtle recalls of their heroes, whether it’s a guitar lick or the warm production that makes for a familiar but exciting record.

The maturity of the band, and their understanding of what makes a memorable song and record, means that No Gods is one of those records – it sends shivers down your spine, and demands countless listens.

The anthemic, driven ‘Turn To You’ contrasts well with the almost indie ‘What Entails’, making for a diverse record that never feels disjointed.

Sharks have managed to achieve what many bands (should) strive for – No Gods perfectly celebrates the art of the album with a relatively early contender for the year-end lists.


http://pronomo.co.uk/2012/03/22/music-review-sharks-no-gods/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:22 am

The Music, the Message

Rating: 68/100

There was something very unique and special about British punk bands in the 80’s which made them relevant. It could have been the whole idea of anarchy and conformity being two distinct opposites, but the same thing could be said for punk music in general. We live in a new age now where the themes tend not to transcend because oddly enough, being a non-conformist somehow managed to become popular. The problem with modern British punk bands tend to be that they all want to be like someone else. In comes in SHARKS who for all intents and purposes have managed to avoid sounding like The Sex Pistols, The Casualties, or Rancid.
This time around though on their new album No Gods, SHARKS shake up their sound. The band touches upon modern pop-punk bands such as The Graduate with songs such as “’Til The Wonders Rise” and “Matthew’s Baby”. It’s arguable though that this sound has a lot to do with the influence of producer Brian McTernan whose signature sound has produced the last two albums from The Graduate. This creates an odd quarrel as the band tries to touch on their heavy influence of The Clash made apparent on songs like “Arcane Effigies” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself”. Along the way in the album these sounds do learn to work together on tracks such as “Luck”. One of the problems is that most of the album can’t find middle ground.
It’s nice that the band doesn’t touch on typical non-conformity topics which most bands in their scene tend to overuse. Instead, most of No Gods presents a simple look at life. The message isn’t exactly important and it’s one of the true selling points to the album. At its finest times, it’s not trying to be anything other than simple punk music with a pop twinge. There is still a lot that SHARKS have to learn but if there is anything that No Gods accomplishes, it’s that the band shows a good deal of promise.


http://www.themusicthemessage.com/?review=sharks-no-gods
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:33 am

Under the Gun

Rating: 8/10

Sharks seem possessed of a profoundly disaffected outlook which belies their position at the vanguard of contemporary British punk rock. No Gods is their first full-length, after a wave of well-received EPs and singles which have allowed them to build up a steady following. The faithful ought to be pleased with this record, a relatively straightforward but endlessly enjoyable album that comes laden with refreshingly upbeat, enthusiastic anthems.

The band do seem to have a fairly reliable approach to their songs, as the basic structure remains more or less the same, but they use this to build a winning formula of effervescent riffs and devil-may-care attitude. There’s a persistently sunny vibe running throughout the album and it’s one that makes the songs uniformly infectious, no matter how strong their individual credentials. The album is as cacophonous and organic as any punk band should sound, but it’s steered by aggressive ambition and strong songwriting.

“Til the Wonders Rise” is a bright opening. The guitars are shrill and powerful, fuelling a brash and boisterous track with unrelenting flair. It can seem a little over-eager sometimes, but this willingness to impress is so good-natured it seems churlish to condemn it. The stupendously-named “Arcane Effigies,” released earlier this year as the first single, has a careful rhythm and builds tantalisingly into something provocative and arresting. It, like many of the others, has a monstrous third act solo that confirms its meteoric ambitions and injects all with a commanding sense of life. It is vivid, and corrosive, and speaks volumes for the band’s ability to craft an invigorating yet easily accessible track.

After this opening bombast, “Able Moving Hearts” seems a little more naturalistic. It gains pace and effect as it develops, keeping the harmonies understated to allow for more pensive undertones in the music. Its ending is typically powerful, which is a little disappointing, as up until this the band showcase impressive skill in crafting something more intricate and refined. “On A Clear Day You Can See Yourself” is serene and disaffected, with a frolicking, easy rhythm that sums up the general ethos running throughout No Gods. As they reach “Patient Spider,” the band loosen up even further and embrace an irreverent, rambling side to themselves. The song is a bit harebrained in its musical elements, but the sentiment seems pure and genuine, and this coupled with its quirky imagery and twinkling harmonies wins it favour. “Turn To You” doesn’t immediately fare as well. Its opening solo feels a bit melodramatic, even with the longing, nostalgic air of the verses. Its rhythm is a bit too stilted and the song loses much appeal by wallowing in syrupy indulgence. The execution is perfectly decent, but compared to how exciting the other tracks are this feels a little underwhelming.

“What Entails” is breezy and entertaining, and the final two tracks provide a textbook double whammy with which to end the record. “Luck” is the more serious of the two. Its opening strains are focused and intent, setting aside the freewheeling spirit of the prior songs. It’s a little more dignified as a track, if not necessarily sombre, although there is a distinctly grave air in the vocals. This approach is slightly more even and it actually suits the band better, as they have time to construct a thorough message before drowning it in explosions of raucous banter. “No Gods” returns to the sparky sound of the album’s first half, with an undemanding and rigorous set up to ensure the record ends memorably. It seems acutely aware of its position as the final song, and accordingly undertakes a lengthy, philosophical-style solo before petering quietly into conclusion. As a denouement, it seems unduly lengthy and extravagant perhaps, but it does ensure No Gods leaves its listeners with a thought-provoking aftertaste.

Sharks are named, apparently, for a Gallows song and they reflect many of the latter’s admirable qualities. They’re not quite as vociferous or incendiary, shall we say, but they do know how to write aggressively enthralling songs and pack a punch or two. No Gods is a consummate full-length that cements their position as something exciting and inspiring for the genre and it deserves recognition among fans of punk and plain rock alike.


http://www.underthegunreview.net/2012/03/14/review-sharks-no-gods/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:40 am

Planet Loud

Rating: 8/10

It’s all too easy to underestimate Sharks. Like their sea-dwelling namesakes this Leamington four-piece have received more than their fair share of flak from people who haven’t bothered to do their research*, but ‘No Gods’, their mightily impressive debut album, should silence many of their critics. An incredibly solid, tuneful and convincing collection, this is one of the best straight-up British rock albums you’ll hear this year, guaranteed.

All too often promising bands are blinded by the excitement of a full-length and fail to put across what they can really do – it’s that age old ‘yeah, they’re amazing live, but I don’t know what went on with the record’ scenario. That’s a bullet that Sharks have summarily dodged on this eleven track set. From opener ‘Til The Wonders Rise’ to the brilliant, concluding title-track, ‘No Gods’ does justice to the band’s abundant potential: ‘life-affirming’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but when it comes to this record it actually fits, for once. As poetic as they are acerbic, tracks like ‘On A Clear Day You Can See Yourself’ and ‘Luck’ are both utterly of our time and oddly timeless, drawing from a rich heritage of pop and rock songwriting to dissect the travails and absurdities of modern life, as well as life in a band. You’ll hear snatches of everything from the Manics’ ‘The Holy Bible’ to The Gaslight Anthem’s ’The ‘59 Sound’ and overall it works a treat.

So, while this won’t be to everyone’s taste (it’s not ‘punk’ in the strictest sense, as many will no doubt be keen to emphasise) it’s cracking stuff nonetheless. Don’t bet against them becoming a massive deal on both sides of the pond before the year’s out.

*On a related note, rumours that Chinese fishermen are plotting to cut off James Mattock’s nose and use it for soup remain, as yet, unconfirmed. Laughing

http://www.planet-loud.com/blog/sharks-no-god/
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PostSubject: Re: Misc. No Gods reviews   Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:44 am

Mind Equals Blown

Rating: 8.0

First and foremost, I need to address the genre that I have labeled this. You see, it’s really impossible to put Sharks into a box. From sounding punk, to pop, to ska, to retro, No Gods really doesn’t fit into just one easily definable category. With all this variety, there isn’t a dull moment in the whole album. This highly anticipated debut full-length was well worth the wait, and somehow manages to top everything that Sharks has put out thus far.
This is one of the few bands nowadays that has genuine crossover appeal, but that’s no surprise considering the variety of bands they’ve already played with ranges from Gallows to Fucked Up to The Gaslight Anthem. Sharks’ strongest asset is easily how versatile and likable they are, and No Gods truly showcases that.
This album genuinely gets better and better with each listen. “Patient Spider” is easily one of the best songs on the album, with “Arcane Effigies” not far behind. Both of these songs manage to be catchy and memorable without compromising their uniqueness, making them perfect to be played over and over. “Patient Spider” in particular shines both lyrically and instrumentally. From the catchy hooks to the intricate metaphors, this track pretty much has it all.
“Til the Wonders Rise” and “Matthew’s Baby” are both very catchy, with the former being the most poppy track on the album. “Dawn Soft Light” is another strong track with an extremely infectious hook, much like “What Entails” which is great from the start and is rather reminiscent of early Third Eye Blind.
Overall, No Gods is full of track after track of upbeat, lighthearted, fun anthems that came right in time for the warm weather. With jams like “Luck,” I can’t help but picture myself blasting this album with my windows down while driving to the beach. The album truly doesn’t miss a beat and has that summer-breezy likability that you just can’t deny.
In the past, Sharks have shined as a very accessible punk band; with No Gods, they have become even more accessible and shed that punk label even more. If anything, they sound like a fusion of ’70s punk and modern pop punk. And, yes, this album sounds more poppy than their previous releases. But they have huge potential and huge crossover appeal, so it’s easy to imagine there will be huge things in their future. With a debut like this, I can’t wait to see what’s still in store for Sharks.

http://mindequalsblown.net/2012/03/30/sharks-no-gods/
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