Album Review: Sharks – “Ready Set Go”
Not to be confused with the emo-punk band from a few years ago, these Sharks were originally around in the early 70s, and are probably more famous for the members who passed through their ranks than their music – bassist Andy Fraser had previously served with Free, and guitarist Chris Spedding would go on to a successful power pop career later on in the decade with hits like Motorbikin’ and New Girl In The Neighbourhood, as well as collaborating with the Sex Pistols and the Vibrators during the punk explosion.
Spedding and singer Steve “Snips” Parsons reformed the band a few years ago, with bassist Toshi (Lupus Dei/Hey! Hello!/Antiproduct/etc) and a revolving door cast of drummers (including Pistols/Professionals man Paul Cook briefly). Ready Set Go is their second post-reunion record, and is an enjoyable collection of songs.
More than anything, it sounds like a collection of Stones out-takes from the Some Girls/Tattoo You era, and I guess there’s worse things than that. Snips definitely has a bit of Jagger’s swagger in his voice, and the straight ahead rock of Crash Party and It Will Stand see him cutting loose well, while Spedding has lost none of his skill and dexterity as a guitarist down the years.
They’re not afraid to cast their net a bit wider than the straightforward 70s rock sound either, as evidenced in the Bolan-style glam stomp of That Girl, the rockabilly leanings of Darkwing and Honeybee and the languid bluesy closer Song Of The Slave. There’s even a cheeky cover of Hey Joe, with the words amended slightly in Mr Sloane – a good few bands would be hounded out of the building for such a blatant cop-off, but Sharks have the necessary charm and skill to carry it off.
Hands up, it isn't the most original album you'll hear this year by a long shot, but Ready Set Go is a group of rock 'n' roll veterans kicking out the jams and doing what they're good at. It zips by satisfyingly fast and has enough variety and showmanship to make it an entertaining listen, and sometimes that's good enough.