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Sharks - The Joys Of Living 2008-2010 Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8.25
Production 6.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 77%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6.4
Musicianship 6.85
Lyrics 6.85
Production 5.7
Creativity 6.7
Lasting Value 5.9
Reviewer Tilt 6.65
Average: 64%
Inside AP.net

Sharks - The Joys Of Living 2008-2010

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (04/10/11)
Sharks - The Joys of Living 2008-2010
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Record Label: Velvet Scene/Rise Records

We don't usually review compilations on this website, but I felt it more than necessary to make an exception for Sharks' Velvet Scene/Rise Records debut, The Joys of Living: 2008-2010. The 14-track collection features two old EPs from United Kingdom natives and two new songs, totaling all the music they've officially released. Both the Shallow Waters and Show Of Hands EPs showcase what brought Sharks to relevance on both sides of the pond, while the new tracks give us a taste of what we can expect from one of the better new punk groups on any continent.

Sharks' back catalog is solid overall, but certainly is given an identity by its standouts. From the older of the two EPs, Shallow Waters, "Yours to Fear" may be the most impressive track. It has a communal feel with plenty of gang vocals, and the laid-back melody harkens to better times of rock and roll past. A heartfelt, albeit short song, "Yours to Fear" doesn't come in until the later stages of The Joys of Living, but most definitely deserves to be heard.

Comparing Shallow Waters to Show of Hands, the former is probably more worthwhile. The rawness of the production value throughout The Joys of Living is one of the most important qualities; music like this wasn't mean to be listened to spit-shined and spotlessly waxed. It was meant to be listened to loudly, in a too-crowded car with your best friends, driving around aimlessly late on a warm night. "It Threatens" and "The Light At the End of the Tunnel Is Hell" from Shallow Waters exemplify that attitude wholeheartedly, but Sharks' best song is taken off the Show of Hands EP.

"It All Relates" is a Gaslight Anthem-esque track that lends itself much more to Sharks' rock and roll edge than its punk core. Vocalist James Mattock doesn't have a voice that would shine on a purely rock and roll stage, making the group's punk influences essential to its sound. However, Mattack does show well on the chorus of this track, as he sings, "We'd steal, but not to break common trade / But for desire to create and give back what we took in / And watch it bloom from the beginning again / I've never liked my voice anyways / And rock and roll needs tragedy / So if these bones collide well at least we tried / And besides, I could do with some daylight."

If that reads more like a poem than it does the lyrics to one of the catchier choruses you'll be exposed to this year, you're probably not alone in that thought. But that's what listeners will get with Sharks; Mattack does an excellent job of fusing meaningful messages into solid harmonies.

Lastly, the two new songs give off a huge sense of potential for this band's future. "Sweet Harness" and "The Joys of Living" kick off the record, and the former might be the best example of Sharks finding the middle ground between their rock and roll and punk sounds. Two new songs isn't a lot, but hopefully it tides fans over until Sharks' first "real" release on Velvet Scene/Rise Records. The Joys of Living serves the purpose of getting out the band's past material to those who haven't heard it (which, let's face it, is probably most of the Rise Records fanbase) while also giving us a glimpse into what's sure to be a remarkable future for this young band.

Recommended If You LikeThe Clash, The Gaslight Anthem, Bruce Springsteen but punker.
Follow Me On TwitterIt all relates.
Bare Essentials1. Sweet Harness
2. The Joys of Living
3. Trains
4. It All Relates
5. Three Houses
6. More Blue
7. Glove In Hand
8. Capital Youth
9. Common Grounds
10. Yours To Fear
11. Fallen On Deaf Ears
12. It Threatens
13. Bury Your Youth
14. The Light at the End of the Tunnel is Hell
Run Time: 45 minutes
Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
11:54 PM on 04/10/11
#2
Blake Solomon
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i didn't know this was a compilation thingy as i hadn't even been aware of the band until a couple weeks ago. but this record slays. perfect tunes for my current state of mind.
12:35 AM on 04/11/11
#3
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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i didn't know this was a compilation thingy as i hadn't even been aware of the band until a couple weeks ago. but this record slays. perfect tunes for my current state of mind.
I didn't know when I started listening either. It's really grown on me in the last three weeks so I feel you.
12:54 AM on 04/11/11
#4
M.Lee
man I'm pretty
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When I first heard about this I thought it was a completely new album. I was sad when I found out otherwise. I just want some new songs...
04:33 AM on 04/11/11
#5
Ilija Necovski
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I honestly liked Shark's album but i felt like it's to weird of a sign for Rise Records.
04:36 AM on 04/11/11
#6
Zack Zarrillo
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I honestly liked Shark's album but i felt like it's to weird of a sign for Rise Records.
The label is trying to expand a little. Like with Man Overboard and Transit.
05:15 AM on 04/11/11
#7
Ryan Gardner
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Good review, but just not my kind of music.
06:37 AM on 04/11/11
#8
Shinobi1791
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, YOU BASTARDS!
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Been listening to this band for at least a year now. Nice to see they're getting more recognition now, I was surprised they were unsigned when I first heard them on the Radio. Shallow Waters (the last 5 tracks on this) is a great EP. Not listened to the 2 new tracks yet. Need to get them.
06:51 AM on 04/11/11
#9
InfiniteArms
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i didn't know this was a compilation thingy as i hadn't even been aware of the band until a couple weeks ago. but this record slays. perfect tunes for my current state of mind.
this
07:03 AM on 04/11/11
turdeyeblind
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actually, it's three old eps.
07:32 AM on 04/11/11
LivingTheLyrics
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Fantastic record. This band, along with Daybreaker, have been all I've been listening to recently. Joys of Living is perhaps my favorite track on here, but both new tunes are awesome.
08:58 AM on 04/11/11
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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actually, it's three old eps.
Whaaaa?

Edit: I just realized if it was only two, the first EP would have to be 7 songs....so that probably is wrong. Dammit.
10:27 AM on 04/11/11
kylemiller
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mad good.

check this out:
http://www.facebook.com/thrillsnj
10:41 AM on 04/11/11
SLoT
Stage three has begun.
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I'm really enjoying this. Nice review.
12:30 PM on 04/11/11
JJW319
last.fm/user/JJW319
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glad we got a review. i like this!
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