EP Review: Land Sharks – “Rock-A-Lips”
As concepts go, crossing the rhythm section from a platinum-selling indie band with a fast-rising UK rock guitarist and a vocalist teleported straight in via his own time-travelling phone booth certainly sounds like an interesting one. Fortunately, with Land Sharks, all the individual pieces come together like some beautiful, musical Frankenstein’s monster; in your face and impossible not to like, and here they are with EP number two for your delectation, Rock-A-Lips.
Comprising Embrace’s Steve Firth and Mike Heaton, Wayward Sons’ Sam Wood on guitar, the maniacal Steven Beever from Nu Popes on keys, and the eminently likable Mikey Shiraz from Mr Shiraz on vocal duty, the band’s personalities seem eclectic on paper and this comes across in their music. The band’s self-titled four track debut EP saw the quintet lay down some groovy rock and roll that mixed old-school riffs with quirky keyboard licks, and as a statement of intent, it certainly made you sit up and take notice.
Thankfully on Rock-A-Lips there’s a continuation of this sound, and the band seem to be having a ball throughout too. Take opening track Shark Idol, a punchy, punky number with a Pistols riff and a whole heap of party attitude, whilst Foundations wouldn’t be out of place on a Faith No More record with its keyboard-driven stomp.
Hereditary follows a similar if slightly lengthier path, with Shiraz giving the song a nice Patton vibe as the band create a musical swell behind him, whilst No Pity is perhaps the closest to the frontman’s other band on offer here, moving from gang-vocalled groover to a surefire live bounce-along seamlessly.
Continuing to mix the genre influences, there’s a Sabbath-y edge to the closing title track, which winds its way through a spooky, doom-guitar-driven five and a half minutes of squealing solos and relentless bass as Shiraz releases his lungs from his body. It’s a nice way to sum up what’s come before, offbeat, alternative and surprising, yet head-noddingly addictive and it begs the question; what could this lot do on a full album? Impressive stuff.
Another belting EP from Land Sharks, the band successfully combine their influences once again for an eclectic jaunt through a very listenable five tracks of musical mayhem. By giving each band member a lighter side to their 'day job', Rock-A-Lips offers huge amounts of fun as well as some serious musical pedigree.