Sunday 21 July 2013

Sharkmuffin - She-Gods Of Champagne Valley

EP review by

You get the impression that Brooklyn trio Sharkmuffin don't do things by half. The acerbic garage-punk that comprises their debut EP doesn't take any prisoners and you can hear the distinct influence of riot grrrl to their crude thrashing, but it makes for an EP that's never dull, not for a single second. 'She-Gods Of Champagne Valley' might be the explosive power of raw, primal rock 'n' roll, yet they never forget the tunes. Any song here could be stripped-back or cleaned up to make a decent indie/pop song, however this scorching approach is far more fun. We say it's never dull, well at five tracks in eleven minutes it doesn't really have the time to be. Since they caught our attention with 'The Lake' last year it was obvious that Tarra Thiessen had a fine set of pipes, and this proves it.

There are classic punk riffs that could be borrowed from The Ramones or The Buzzcocks, especially on the feral 'Sleeping Alone', and they flit between this sound and more recent variants. 'Femebot' for example, would have been a standout on an early Hole album, perhaps if they'd collaborated with The Cramps. The interestingly titled 'Mermaid Sex Slave' introduces a little more twang to their sound and is another scruffy ball of fire with plenty of jagged edges and another strong melody; Sharkmuffin can write songs and they can transform them into ferocious monsters. This is maybe best heard on the frenetic 'Sister' which smashes its way through a couple of minutes of blistering noise, so much so that by the time you reach the heavy riffing finale of 'Shit Talk' it feels a bit like you've just been given a massive electric shock.

Sharkmuffin's website

Stream the EP in full

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