Review Summary: Something For Kate's most beautiful record...“She was tracing out lines in the air / To make it perfectly clear / He was swimming with some beautiful sharks”
A perfect record is an achievement that is only established by bands, groups or artists that find structure and conviction in their song writing so profound that it is a must listen and for a band to achieve this on a sophomore release is something special. Beautiful Sharks
is the second album from Melbourne trio, Something For Kate. Hailing from Australia, Something For Kate present a indie tinged rock sound that is sure to turn heads.
It is an amazing how much the band have improved and adjusted since the 1997 debut effort, Elsewhere For Eight Minutes
. Paul Dempsey proves that he is not just a one trick pony, and shows of some outstanding and brilliant guitar work, along with his always perfect and in-depth lyrical concepts. Every track is a highlight and every single instrument that is used blends well, which make the flow of the album coherent and cohesive. Though the main trick that this band pulls of is that while all the songs fall together so well, Something For Kate are able to write a song or 4 that stand out above the others. Singles, ‘Hallways,’ ‘Electricity,’ ‘Whatever You Want,’ and ‘The Astronaut’ show this.
‘Electricity’ is probably the most well known and successful song from Beautiful Sharks
and rightfully so as it negates thoughtful themes penned by Dempsey, though keeps the same rugged feel first found on Elsewhere For Eight Minutes
. The guitar tone has a very raw crunch to it along with the vocal delivery, which is delivered in quite a harsh voicing. The drums are heavy and the bass is thick making it quite similar to the older SFK sound, though that is not a bad thing at all. The rest of the album is a complete change in direction in sound for the band, as it follows a more straight-up Indie/Rock vibe, compared to the straight forward rock that was previous SFK. ‘Hallways’ is the perfect example of this. The bass-line is strong, while the drums are quite simplistic but propel the song on while the guitar work is quite dissonant but provide the song to be original in ideas, though lyrically is where the song shines:
“They'll never find us
Painting a self portrait
Painting ourselves into position
We'll scare them off with word play and sweep them under the rug”
Title track, ‘Beautiful Sharks’ is maybe one of the most magnificent songs Something For Kate have written. Easily a stand out for the velvety vibe of Dempsey’s vocals, it is an emotionally charged tune with the songs pacing between slow verses, steady drumming and hazy guitar with some simplistic keys fading in and out making this song epic. As the album goes through track to track you are hit with never-ending moments of brilliance, amazing song writing and intricate musicianship, 'Beautiful Sharks' exemplifies this to the extreme.
to me, is Something For Kate at their highest peak and an album that all indie/rock fans should get their hands on straight away. The flow of the album is stupendous as it shows fantastic vocal harmonies, honest and deep lyrical themes, guitar work that must be heard to believed, plus a rhythm section that never missus an opportunity to shine when need be. Beautiful Sharks
showcases the perfect contrast in stylistic song writings and shows them off perfectly. If I were ever forced to listen to one record for the rest of my life... this would be it.
“I watch the people and the cars / It's slow motion / They're beautiful like breaking glass”