Review Summary: Five blasts of nostalgic punk from one of Britain's most promising new bands
Over the last decade or so the loose collective of bands known since the 70's as punk has split. On one hand bands such as Blink 182, Fallout Boy and numerous other contemporary bands have taken the simplicity of punk and molded it into chart-pleasing three minute chunks of "pop punk" while at the same time bands such as Gallows, The Refused and The Dillinger Escape Plan have gone in the other direction creating divisive, experimental records that owe much to the spirit but not the sound of 1977.
Falling in between these two groups are the Sharks. Their simple, three minute blasts of anthemic punk hark back to the early days of punk when bands such as The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers made angry, uncompromising music while still writing singalong choruses. Four of the five tracks on this E.P last little three minutes and feature roughly the same number of chords. James Mattock's Joe Strummer indebted shouting suits this perfectly and adds the E.P a sense of authenticity missing from recent so-called punk bands such as Youmeatsix.
The album's nostalgia brings to mind a British version of recent tour-mates The Gaslight Anthem who share the Shark's desire to bring punk back to its roots and with the vocals only introduction to Trains and the souring chorus of lead single It All Relates they suceed admirably.
Show of Hands marks the start of a promising career for Sharks whose classic punk sound will no doubt make them a much more widely known outfit come their debut album. Until then they remain one of British punk's most promising new upstarts.