Sharky Sharky – Party Under The Sea
Sharky Sharky – Party Under The Sea (2014)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Though I might seem at risk of losing my power metal credibility, I’ve chosen to review the new EP from the Scottish children’s metal sensation Sharky Sharky. Founded by members of power metal act Ascension (though singer Richard Carnie is the only obvious member, there are at least a couple others), Sharky Sharky’s aim is to bring metal-influenced, easily digestible, and cheerful tunes to the ears of a new generation of metalheads in much the same way as Finland’s Hevisaurus. Also similar to that band, Sharky Sharky’s approach is fairly simple, very upbeat music with subjects and lyricism that are easily grasped by young minds.
Stylistically, Sharky Sharky takes a substantially different approach from its Finnish brethren, however. Party Under The Sea, like the band’s first EP Sharky Life Forever, emphasizes keyboards and vocals very prominently, with guitar fading into the background until solo sections. Bright synth sounds, Carnie’s high vocals, and fast-moving, merry tunes are bound to sweep kids and adults (if you’re into this sort of thing) alike into an ocean of good vibes.
The band’s first EP included four fairly straightforward rock/metal songs, but on Party Under The Sea, the sharkies take a bit of a different approach, featuring a lot of sing/shout-along sections in songs like “All Around The World” and “The Sharky Sharky Jig”. As before, solo sections are short and catchy, and I think the band has good hooks set for its young audience, whose attention spans are bound to be even more limited than mine. “All Around The World” also has a number of interludes with dialog between the fictional characters that the band has created, as well as synthesized high-pitched voicing for the sharkies throughout the album. As an added illustration of unusual, typically forbidden practices in metal, Carnie even sings a scat section during closer “Forever Friends!”
Sharky Sharky has found a solid footing with power metal fans to establish its popularity, and although I enjoy these four songs less than their predecessors (with the exception of the titular opener, which is fastest and closest to power metal), I think they will appeal to kids as much or even more, as Sharky Sharky treads further off the beaten path of metal and hard rock and clearly into the world of children’s music. Anyone who liked the first Sharky Sharky EP is likely to enjoy this, and metalheads of all walks should consider it healthy, interesting listening for young folks without pressing any specific agenda on them – besides fun, of course! Sharky Sharky is well on the way to being another great band to get children into the world of metal, with the added bonus of being pleasant and contagious to adult ears as well.
3.75 // 5