This is the
third release from this Durham,
North Carolina trio after a 2007
EP and a debut full-length in 2011. The band wisely got noted producer J.
Robbins (who has produced Jets to Brazil,
The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker, Against Me! and plenty of others). It was a smart
move snaring Robbins as the bands he has played in and produced don’t sound
unlike H.N.M.T.F. and he kept the punchiness intact while improving on the
bands hooks ‘n’ harmonies. All three members (vocalist/bassist Duncan Webster,
drummer Jeff Stickley and guitarist Joe Hall) are solid players and not content
to play the regular rock guy game.
“Atlas of an Eye” is a perfect example of the Robbins’ patented bob and weave
with circular rhythms, jangly guitars and soaring vocals, while “The Agency”
adds a creepier bass line and a darker mood all around. “Leroy” has a vibe
similar to that of Tar Heel brethren The Rosebuds, and “Thunder” gets a bit
funky, where the band had previously not treaded before. At times you want the
hypnotic guitar to snap out of it and move on, move forward or move out and
it’s moments like these that the songs get a bit bogged down, but with a 34
minute running length for the album most of the songs don’t wear out their
welcome too often.
The leap from Looking for Bruce to Black Shark was fairly significant. Let’s see where they
head next time.
“Atlas of an Eye”, “Shark”, “Leroy” TIM HINELY