We’ve been very busy this week, like little elves helping Santa in his grotto we’ve been getting you all the latest on some new sounds coming through on the airwaves; Like our wonderful first interview with the lovely Blaise! It’s a good thing we’ve had the opportunity then, to listen to La Shark while we’ve been busy typing our little hearts out (feels like our electro pop week has taken over the cheesy christmas X factor corkers).
La Shark are funky. Don’t let the name fool you. These lads sound like they mean business with a mix of Bowie vocals, Talking Heads quirk, and eighties synth vibe that isn’t out of place in this years indie rock culture shock sweeping the y-generation. The five london lads consist of Samuel Geronimo Deschamps (vocals), Benjamin Francis Markham (guitar), Love Maynard (bass), Sami El Enany (keyboards), NHA Buxton (drums). They’re already doing really well, having been artist of the week on BBC introducing and they’ve had their music streamed via the Guardian’s music review site. And this week we’re going to take you through some of their sound on Limousine Mmmm…
Magazine Cover starts with a distinctly rocky versus power weapon effect type of sound, with very static melody and vocals reminiscent of The Human League. Then it moves into a lighter slightly more harmonic echo of chorus that begins to bridge into a funkier backbeat that while not extensive, is toe tapping nonetheless and quite catchy with all the personality of sound you’d expect from Freddie Mercury. The arrangement changes towards the end, bringing in the group as a whole before mashing up the sound (in a good way) for the bridge for a slower tempo and feel before reverting back to the usual pitch and manageability of the verses and chorus. And ending, just as they began with the rock superpower chords!
Sum It Up starts with a stripped high hat melody drama beginning with a discordant harmony and range that is actually quite enjoyable. The track seems to hold more than Magazine Cover in terms of mix of sound with pop beats that don’t fade throughout. Here you manage to hear a mix of vocals and ad libs that make for interesting listening and when stripped away, they allow for the range and tone of the lead vocalist to shine through all the more with a Gary Newman edge that builds up throughout but without deviating from a pretty standard arrangement and ease of sound. Very well done in terms of keeping to style and effort.
Mr Modern Man tones down their mile-an-hour vibe somewhat to a more sedate beginning leaning towards a feel more akin to The Kooks, while stripped a little bare of background melody, makes up for it with built up harmonies and vocals in tone and likeness to sure style eighties that it seems La Shark are going for (very certain by now) a feel of bands such as ABC and their track ‘Poisoned Arrow’ and Michael Sembello. Almost a wistful, sad feel to this track, but with such sunny lyrics and vibe that you’re in no danger of feeling too depressed for very long.
The beginning of Did You Ever Grow Up is a point of change of style of tone and even lyrics. The harmonies here are more like Mr Modern Man and give a lovely Spandau/Joy Division vibe, but with a touch of Toto Coelo and the band are admirable in their drive for the experimental, of not meeting the status quo and moving past the ordinary into something of note.
Your Hole My Hole… The lyrics, oh the lyrics. Brilliant! While dancing along some serious tones of Adam and the Ants ish via Prince Charming in electricity and Spandau Ballet in some impressive vocally tone of harmonies the track is made by its lyrics as distracting as they are image describing; that of a gritty club night in New Cross. The background is steadily built up and seems to switch more between electronic to actual baseline instruments that tick along in the background nicely adding to the cheeky, young, all encompassing vibe this track projects.
I Know What You Did Last Summer is much slower, more percussion intermixed with the synth and the vocals are stripped back so that the background beats shine through. There is a quieter soul tone to this track in places, that is very similar to that of Ultravox, but much more brash and higher of tempo and pitch. There is a slight darkness to this track, title withstanding, the feel of the melody contains a slightly edgier slightly softer accompaniment that was more in focus with Modern Man.
A Weapon brings us back to Gary Newman-esque vocals with all the melody and vibe of Adam Ant with an energy of vocals and arrangement that might be more familiar with fans of The Talking Heads and their electronic rhythmic base. Bolder here than the previous song, and a definite shift back to the bouncier shift of previous tracks; pretty much starting from the get go with a touch of rhythm lyrical that brings to mind Aerosmith and DMC duets alongside flashbacks to The Breakfast Club and Simple Minds. Yep, definitely eighties.
With their retro electro pop rocks kind of fun, quirky helter skelter lyrics and passable funk La Shark are an enjoyable diversion away from the mundane and while they may not make you want to boogie down Night Fever style, you’ll certainly want to move to this electric beat; while possibly wearing a lime green shell suit with neon blue Nike Hightops and eyeliner not seen since Bananarama.
Its a thing.
Listen to Limousine Mmmm…
Find out more about La Shark: