“Holy Water” is a lighter version of the punkabilly that acts like Tiger Army and Nekromantix have been perfecting over the last decade or so. However, Shark Soup seem to be influenced by a larger set of bands than either of the two aforementioned acts, which means that the album is exponentially more interesting than anything put out by either act. “One Eyed Kat” shows that diversity of interests, as Shark Soup push the stylistic limitations of rockabilly to their limits. This means that the band adds a heavy dollop of hardcore punk to their general sound, doubling the speed of the track in the process. To be brutally honest, every single punkabilly band sucks.
All of them cut the same track twelve or so times and call it a day. However, I am loathe to even loosely associate Shark Soup with punkabilly music, as each composition on “Fatlip Showbox” is different enough to really keep interest high. The specific bass sound (upright) is still present throughout, but it is moderated by a bevy of different influences. “Roadkill Reaction + Revolution” is a complete oddity for a punkbilly band; it is an instrumental track (which is not too terribly rare in the style of music), but it is nearly four minute and always interesting. When the punkabilly influence is largely removed from Shark Soup’s sound (as is the case during “Burn The Lights Out”), Shark Soup have the largest gains of the disc.
In this track, the band creates a track that is independent of any music style; when the style is further refined with “Unbeliever”, Shark Soup shows listeners that they have their sound polished to mirror-like consistency. When the band comes back to the style that they are most familiar with, during tracks like “Dead Man Street”, they continue to innovate. Overall, the entirety of “Fatlip Showbox” is solid, with enough tracks that individuals can completely dig. The freshness of Shark Soup should be required knowledge for any band that listens to the Misfits or Tiger Army and wants to do anything with either punkabilly or horrorcore punk music. There is little in the way that Shark Soup could change; the only thing that I would ask is that they could make it out to America a little more often. With a fire in their stomachs that never burns down or out, Shark Soup are hands down the best punkabilly band since 45 Grave.
Top Tracks: Dead Man Street, The Soup Is Hot
Shark Soup – Fatlip Showbox / 2006 BYO / 13 Tracks / http://www.shark-soup.com / http://www.byorecords.com / Reviewed 19 March 2006