Shark Pants – Porno Snakehead (CD)

The band seems to be so uncollected and random that I felt sort of odd getting into Shark Pants as much as I did. Its almost as if Frank Zappa fronted The Offspring. Using guitar riffs that are as straight-forward as the ones from any of the retro-rock bands (The White Stripes) and a yelped-out set of vocals, Shark Pants are definitely a unique enough band to merit being on Recess Records. In their desire to rock, Shark Pants find themselves much more similar musically to The Stooges and MC5 than the Ramones and Sex Pistols. Rough-hewn guitar tracks line the cage in which blah shits. The “I’m a son of a bitch” chorus from “Canyonero” is a direct descendent from “Kick out the jams, motherfucker” uttered almost forty years ago by the MC5. The Protean nature of Shark Pants is also a positive thing – where most of “Porno Snakehead” has been this odd rock-punk-country mix, the arena-rock groove that Shark Pants find themselves in during “Later Alligator” is catchy to say the least. Mixing in a more directly country influence (think Primus and Hank Williams Jr) to “Dogner”, Shark Pants are the musical equivalent to a vagabond – never knowing where they are going to lodge for the night, they find their way into a myriad of styles.

Their heat-baked sound will draw kids en masse to the pit, and the cross-genre moves are so successfully done that I have no doubt that whatever Shark Pants wants to do on-disc they can figure a way to do. Not many people can cut an album in under twenty minute, but Shark Pants has the presence of mind to condense all of their music into short, terse statements that drill themselves into one’s head and won’t relinquish control.

The title track is just a continuation of the forces that have been building up since the beginning of the disc. Minor stop-starts as well as a dual-part harmony make this track stand above the high level of the average song on the disc and awaken some sort of primeval booty-shaking dance. A hum resonates through the entirety of “Porno Snakehead”; a low frequency blast that will cause all high-level function to stop and make the newly-lobotomized crowd only able to focus in on the disc that is playing. By the time the disc ends, Shark Pants has added another few individuals to their cadre of mindless zombies. Stop them before they take over the world!

Top Track: Canyonero

Shark Pants – Porno Snakehead / 2004 Recess Records / 9 Tracks / http://www.sharkpants.com / http://www.recessrecords.com / Reviewed 26 January 2005

Rating: 6.4/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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