Thursday, October 04, 2012
CUDDLY SHARK Body Mass Index
There’s a pacy brevity to this release by Glasgow-based Cuddly Shark: six songs in eleven minutes with only two tracks over two minutes, and one – the dislocated heavy riffing and pained yelps of ‘PolitiCol’ – only just stretching beyond 40 seconds. However there’s no shortness of ideas, snappy fun or lyrical bite here. The trio - Colin Reid on guitar and vocals, Jason Sinclair on drums and Ruth Forsyth on bass – deliver brakes-off melodic pop-punk with transatlantic reference points; from the delirious abandon and sarcastic observations of Art Brut in the title track to the anthemic wordless harmonies and hearts-in-the-right-place churning positivity of Weezer in ‘Skewiff’.
The title – and best - track is the tale of a creepy, predatory male “attractive in the wrong direction” being repeatedly re-buffed by the ladies (“FYI it’s your BMI”). But in a rattling two minutes and five seconds, Cuddly Shark manage to pack in a semi-spoken word intro over walking bass line, pummelling rock ‘n’ roll, comical screeching, personal doubt, desperate pleading plus an angular art-rock bridge - all with sleek, likeable humour. Punchy not paunchy.
It would be easy for a band to stick in this high gear particularly with such truncated tracks. And although ‘Overpriced’ provides more clean-cut power-trio bludgeon - this time with hand-claps - other tracks move up and down the gear box . ‘Losing The Room’ delivers standing-start-to-sixty-miles-per-hour acceleration into screaming straight-edge angst and heaviness like a comic-book Fugazi - in complete contrast to the tender piano and slow tempo acoustic reflections of ‘The Man You Want’.
The band’s name perfectly encapsulates their combination of synthetic soft-toy appeal with cartoon-like brawn and menace. The polished shortness of the songs means their espresso-shot feistiness never outstays its welcome and the melodic hooks, particularly of the title track, last much longer than that initial caffeinated hit. This is-it-an-EP, released next week on Armellodie, is the trailer for the band’s sophomore long-player ‘The Road To Ugly’ due in January next year.
Cuddly Shark Body Mass Index [BUY]