Sharks in the Deep End
Reviewed by Bryan Rolli, Fri., Sept. 9, 2016
Austin punk sextet Sharks in the Deep End wears its New Wave influences proudly on debut full-length Killin' Machine, mixing the punchy pop of the Cars and David Bowie with modern-day arena rock heroes Kings of Leon and the Killers. Lead single "Shadows in the Sunset" explodes with synths and percussive guitar slabs, a post-punk anthem with a sugary exterior. Frontman Tucker Jameson deals the band's trump card, fluctuating between a gritty howl, nasally sneer, and falsetto croon that lend a much-needed sense of urgency to more meandering numbers like "Love in Reverse" and "Loveyoutoo." Jameson coos on the Brit-pop "Cherry Blossom" and spews his best Bowie-isms on the title track and epic slow-burner "How Many Reasons." It doesn't even matter that "Crash Test Doll" is an outright lift of MGMT's "Time to Pretend," since SITDE sell their thievery with such conviction that you'll be humming those wonky synth leads all day.