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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine!

I can remember the first time I listened to “Breakfast in NYC”; it was heart-squelching pop in its purest form and instilled in me an unyielding elation. Oppenheimer’s début album was simple, bubbly and blithe; sentiments that Rocky O’Reilly, aka Kid 90210 and his musical allsorts presumably wish to call to mind with their new venture, Malibu Shark Attack!

The pieces of a delectably whimsical pop oddity exist within Malibu Shark Attack!; named after a straight-to-video movie about prehistoric goblin sharks, the band have assumed quirky alter egos (Kid 90210 is accompanied by La La Boulevard, Hammer Head and MC Dizzy Dustin), and an endearingly sincere ethos;

“M. S. A! is an experiment in music, collaboration and fun. It’s about cutting loose. It’s not about watching shows with folded arms while sucking on lemons. It is about the good times. It’s also about smashing your face through the bad times, with passion, conviction and with heart.”

In a month, the band has produced three songs for consumption. The vestiges of Oppenheimer are evident but it’s not quite Doppelheimer. There are magical Moog melodies and vocoders, disco drumbeats, ingredients for a fabulous, frothy pop delicacy. Yet a band in the fledgling throes of musical passion will, more often than not, encounter some teething problems. Especially if sharks are involved. The main problem appears to be that most of the songs lack immediacy. Whilst elements of the songs are indisputably catchy, they have thus far managed to find a grappling hook, appearing to pique just on the cusp of those precious moments of soaring pop. Taken as a whole, the music thus far lacks a certain lustre; a carbonated drink that tastes slightly flat.

Yet within each song the promise for fizz is plentiful. MC Dizzy Dustin’s rapping on “Plans for the Weekend” demonstrates his potential to sound like a flaccid Vanilla Ice, when given a soundtrack with a bite, such as “Jeff Van Fossen (WeShouldPlayThisParty)” he draws comparisons to Faith No More and Ninja High School, complemented by a driving dance beat and an undulating electro bass line. The programmed percussion is mercilessly vivacious, the distorted electric guitar, when put to use, is the perfect crunchy counterpart to frothy synths. “This Life” acts a cheering demonstration of the potential Malibu Shark Attack! has to yield colourful, quirky, compelling electro pop. A bubbly blend of Apples in Stereo guitar lines, the vocoder vocals of a composed Polysics and gang shouts, it’s simple, heartening and buoyant, proving that the band are at their best when they’re most animated. Their pop music is most effective when it has a more vigorous edge, rather than relying on unexciting falsetto and watery synth parts. I’m excited for the next instalment of the shark attack; hopefully it’ll turn into a bit more of an eating machine!*

Malibu Shark Attack! -This Life

* See: their lovely artwork

1 comment:

  1. breakfast in nyc goes on every summer mixtape i make. i can't even help it.


    post script: this is what happens when i don't have the internet for prolonged periods...comment avalanche.