street sharks's album ranges from instrumental to loud garage rock

Hailing from the streets of Jacksonville, Alabama, street shark is a post-punk band that released their debut album, the 5-track “Heart Age”, in 2014. Ranging from solemn, instrumental jams to loud garage rock, “Heart Age” is a dynamic and pensive record that creates lush soundscapes and draws from influences like early Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, and Sonic Youth. 

Slow lo-fi guitar kicks off the album in “Potatohead”, soon joined by crashing cymbals and drums. 2 minutes in, distant vocals enter the background, mostly intelligible behind the rich wall of sound. Before it devolves into screeching dissonance that leads into the next track, the words “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” solemnly cry out from behind the guitar riffs. 

The title track picks up from “Potatohead”, but at a much faster pace with a driving bass. A sort of subtle scream just as distant as before lends the song emotional power and energy without overpowering the instruments, which remain the most important—pounding instrumental sections carry “Heart Age” along. 

Keeping up the tempo, “World of Trash” blitzes through 3 minutes of nonsensical yelling and guitar feedback in what shapes up to be the most garage rock song on the album. Once again, the vocals are distorted and in “World of Trash”, provide some impetus for the track.

A somewhat obscure reference to the 2001 film “K-PAX”, “Kevin Spacey in K-PAX” tones down a little from the previous track but fails to carve out an interesting melody. As a result, it falls a little flat and becomes repetitive mid-way through. Perhaps in an attempt to follow Kevin Spacey’s character into outer space, the track ends in a minute long esoterically interesting instrumental. 

The last track, “Writer’s Block”, is also the longest at seven minutes. In a departure from street shark’s other songs, “Writer’s Block” uses a lighter, more electronic sound, which doesn’t meld well with the heavier elements more characteristic of the band. However, there are highlights to be found in this lengthy instrumental that merit a listen, especially when it picks up towards the end. 

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