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5 for '10

New locals to love right away
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  January 22, 2010

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SHARK | Shark aren't quite a baby band. Brothers Joseph and John Mordecai formed the project in Connecticut with childhood friend Josh Bleeks in 2004, and it's since survived Bleeks's move to Providence, Joseph's relocation to Boston and his moonlighting as Chaplinesque, John's double duty as bassist for the auspiciously awesome Apse, and a three-year hiatus.

The "unique chemistry" at the heart of Shark and their slow, selective approach to committing stuff to tape have paid off: last year's self-released Shark debut was named by iTunes as one of the Best Alternative Albums of 2009, and it's easy to hear why. Big, growly mats of guitar are held up to the light in "Feel the Fear," a gorgeous sprawling mix of Flaming Lips quirk and druggy Spiritualized drama. "Turducken" gets a bit goofier on the prog tip, quickly collecting itself into a writhing post-punk ditty that wouldn't have let Jawbox down. But don't let those '90s references throw you — Shark sound new. If there's one direct carryover from that tumultuous decade, it's Shark's love of volume. Joseph explains, "We utilize everything at our disposal — effect pedals, keyboards, our voices — to convey the torrential feel of the music while still keeping the emphasis on the raw sound of three people playing together, and just how loud a three-piece can be."

They've got no shows lined up in town at the moment, and no definite recording plans for the follow-up ("We're not too big on planning things"), but if their early offerings are any indication, Shark's uncertain path is well worth following.

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