Friday, April 29, 2011

Sharks Come Cruisin'- A Past We Forget

Sharks Come Cruisin' are a "shanty punk" band from Rhode Island. I've been lovingly referring to them as the 'nice pirates' to Idle, but technically, they're an Irish punk/folk punk band. At first, I was a tad bit skeptical of them. I have very little knowledge about "sea shanties" and I can't swim very well... So I wasn't too sure what I was getting myself into. However, they gave me a wonderful first impression to their world. I love it. Between the guitar, vocals, bass, banjo, drums, melodica, fiddle, punk influence, and their ability to make me bounce in my office chair, these guys are something you have to hear. RIYL Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Against Me!
Most of the songs on this album are actually traditional sea songs that they've adapted into their own little style, while still staying true to the music. They have three singles on the album- "Raise Up," "Wayward Boys,"  and "Four Years Before the Mast." One thing that is consistent throughout the album that I have to mention is how TALENTED their fiddler is. Seriously, Jonathan, you're wonderful. I grew up playing various string instruments, including many styles of violin. And if there's anything I'm trained to appreciate, it's talented violin.
Not to undermine the other musicians- each instrument has something great that adds to every song. I'm just naturally more inclined to notice violin, I suppose. Either way, everything is just so put together and manages to make everyone have fun with it. I know nothing about the sea, and I know even less about music associated with it... However, I love it. The best thing about the originals is that they're so good at getting the traditional sound, I actually had to ask a member which were the originals and which weren't. That's both due to how well they play the traditional shanties, and how they play the originals. I especially love how they do "Farewell to Nova Scotia," "Leave Her Johnny," and "Shenandoah."
It's a bunch of really, really talented musicians who are mixing traditional music and punk- I love it. You can just tell that these guys have fun, and that's the best part of Sharks Come Cruisin. They are so good at what they do, but more importantly, they're enjoying it. You hear that in every single song.
I was talking to a friend about this band, who has seen them live, and apparently it's an experience you just can't miss- they are very fun and interact with the crowd.

I strongly recommend the band, really. It's so different, but awesome. I'm stoked on it. Ahoy, captain. 

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