Shark Toys is a South Californian band that has slowly evolved through the past decade from a two man bedroom pop project to a frenetic art-punk trio. Their latest EP Out of Time is a time capsule to the early days of punk, drawing inspiration from bands such as Desperate Bicycles, Swell Maps and The Fall. Out of Time breezes through in eleven minutes, with four quick fire original singles and a cover at the end. Each song is made up of simple elements that are used in full effect, with blazing rhythms, razor sharp twists and a healthy dose of jangle. Frenetic drums and a restless bass line lays the groundwork of their sound while sharp-witted lyrics and supercharged jangling riffs collide to make up the upper end of the mix. The result is so effective yet so economical in a way that it’ll leave you catching for breath as it burns through its relatively short fuse.
“Out of Time” opens the EP with a hectic romp that feels like you’re being chased by a hive of bumble bees. A guzzling rhythm section and winding guitar riffs grumble and weave in a way in a mind-bendingly neurotic kind of way. “Future” embodies the feeling of unease we all go through when taking a hard look at our own lives. With frantic rhythms and a scrambling guitar and bass line, the lyric: “I’m looking towards the future / I don’t know where to start / I don’t know what to do with my life / Don’t know if what I do is art”, really hits the mark.
This spastic and razor-sharp energy continues on through the rest of the EP. “Black” is equal parts jangly and robotic, with a tempo so rapid that the bass notes seem to meld with each other, and the galloping riffs feel like it could jump right out of the speakers. “El Sereno” is an instrumental, with a swaggering laid-back groove that is disturbed by unhinged guitar riffs that spasm and seize through its runtime. “Advice on Arrest” is a cover from the aforementioned Desperate Bicycles, featuring a slew of recommendations that could come in handy once the authorities catch you (rightfully) practicing your democratic rights.
Out of Time leaves an impact without overstaying its income. This Shark Toys’ EP is one you wouldn’t regret checking out.