Shark Toys: Labyrinths (In The Red, 2018)

April 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Shark Toys: Labyrinths

L.A.’s Shark Toys make their In The Red debut with this appropriately direct and scorching full-length. For much of the album, the group bash out one-two rhythms, repeat a few wiry riffs, and howl out lyrics in a high register, then stop on a dime after a minute or two. That’s not all the band does, however, and as basic as they might seem on the surface, they’re not formulaic. Following a breakneck cover of Mission of Burma’s “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate”, the group offer a response called “No Escape” which bluntly repeats “I want you to know that the end is near” along with suffocating guitars and showers of sax from Mikal Cronin. While that song pushes into a greater intensity level than the rest of the album, the other songs are still pretty wired, and they also tend to bleat out expressions of frustration, confusion, and feeling trapped. Cronin pops in for some more jolts of sax voltage, with “Jazz Suss” ending the album in a near-eruption, and there’s a little bit of abstract synth trickery on tracks like “Three Dogs”. It all pounds, and if you’re into Tyvek, or any other similar bands on ITR, you will be all over this.

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