Album Review: Shark Tape – Marathon
Philadelphia trio, Shark Tape, has been slowly building buzz over the past few years. Garnering a steady flow of fans with two EPs, Shark Tape and Eyes on You, back in 2012, the Philly band is on the brink of a mainstream explosion. With the release of Marathon, which started production in 2013 with the help of engineer, Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs), the band worked hard on putting out a well crafted, hook laden album that’s pretty hard to resist.
Marathon has actually been sitting in my ‘to listen’ playlist for quite some time and I was able to find time at the end of my work day to throw it on and give it a listen. While I enjoyed Shark Tape’s previous EPs, I can’t help but appreciate the amount of growth I’m hearing in the first single alone. “Bronco” kicks in with a slow fade of a distorted guitar riff that has me instantly moving in my seat. Garage rock with beautiful summer vibes washes over me immediately. The catchy chorus demands that you learn it immediately so that you can sing along at the top of your lungs. Summer may be just about over but that doesn’t mean that there’s not time for a new summer anthem and “Bronco” is one of many featured on Marathon.
You won’t get any reprieve as the album keeps things moving alone with the title track. There’s an alluring glam rock appeal to the track and it’s even having not heard the rest of the album, I can already count it as a quick favorite. 80’s guitars and synths will take you back in time when “River Runs Deep” starts. A wonderful, swaying beat pulls you deeper under Shark Tape’s spell and proves that while Marathon‘s tracks carve out a vast tapestry of sounds that, although different from song to song, still manage to feel cohesive.
“Neverlast” has a slight Interpol feel with it’s more meandering pace compared to the rest of Marathon. The difference in speed drew my attention to the track, causing me to really listen and take it in. It’s definitely another personal favorite. The trio picks things back up with the Ramones / The Clash-esque “Black Panther” with its repeating chorus and punk hooks complete with thrashing guitar solo near the 2 minute mark. It’s a rip roaring short track that I can’t help but play two or three times before moving on again.
What Shark Tape truly excels at is crafting a complete and mesmerizing rock album that I just want to play over and over again. It’s an album that I think all fans of the various subgenres of rock can appreciate. I honestly can’t stop listening to it and can’t help but feel that it’s the start of something truly exciting.