Cuddly Shark

As I sit here writing this on a Sunday morning, I now realise that there is every chance that my day may go in a completely different direction than I had intended. Yesterday a lazy Sunday sounded perfect and even as I woke up this morning and sleepily turned on my laptop this was the only option. However, as I give Cuddly Shark’s eponymous debut album another listen, I realise that I’m now fully awake and ready to get out the traps like a greyhound waiting to chase the hare. Cuddly Shark are a band (two guys, one girl) hailing from Elgin in the north of Scotland, Elgin-ites if you will. After moving to ‘the’ hot bed of music that is Glasgow, things seem to be going rather grand for the Shark. Several good live reviews and well received singles later, they’ve turned themselves to making an album. Recorded by Ross McGowan (Dananananaykroyd, We Are the Physics) Microsoft Office 2010 purchase and Scott Maple (Le Reno Amps), the pedigree is certainly impressive and the album doesn’t disappoint. Cuddly Shark AlbumBowl of Cherries‘ kicks of the album and is the perfect opener, catchy riff and screaming vocals, it pretty much sets the tone for the next 34 minutes. Hurtling on through singles ‘Woody Woodpecker‘ and ‘The Punisher of IV30‘ (referring to the postcode where the band grew up), the album takes a sinister twist with the soft then loud, but always sinister, ‘Mannybix‘. Indeed, the album only partially lets up for ol’ travelling tune ‘Whiteoaks‘ and the toe tapping cover of Hoyt Axton’s ‘Boney Fingers‘ before it is launched back into Shark-ville with the riff heavy ‘12 Months‘, a nice ditty about abstention. This is followed by a 51 second rant aimed at those (well, one person in particular) who really should have stuck to acting, well maybe not even that, ‘Jamie Foxx On Jools Holland‘. I’d tell you the one and only lyric in the song but that might spoil it for you. The album closes with one of my album standouts ‘Instru-Mentalist‘ and a song that people who get bees in their bonnets could have a field day with, ‘Shakey Baby‘. It carries the unforgettable singalong chorus “see the lady with the baby, grab the baby, hold the baby, shake the baby, jelly baby, got me a syndrome!”. It’s a breakneck, pedal-to-the-metal 34 minutes but well worth the listen, or several listens in my case. Cuddly Shark are uncategorisable, flitting from the pop punk sensibilities of Weezer, through the brash sound of Fugazi and even taking a jaunt through hillbilly rock, Cuddly Shark take you to a point where you just can’t really make comparisons, they are truly a one off and a one off that it is worth taking the time to enjoy. The album is out NOW on cool new Scottish indie label Armellodie. Cuddly Shark play Captain’s Rest (Glasgow) tommorrow (16th Nov) for their album launch party where they will be joined by the fantastic Palace Ballet and The Elvis Suicide. Doors 8pm, £4. For more news and info on January’s mini Scottish tour check out www.cuddlyshark.co.uk

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  1. Pingback: Elba Sessions » Elba Annual 2009 – Cuddly Shark

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