Listening to We Were Sharks’ newest EP Not A Chance, I feel like a middle school/high school kid just getting into punk again. The band effortlessly blends the super catchy, radio friendly pop punk of the early to mid-2000’s with the speed and aggression of 90’s skate punk. Often times in the course of listening to a song, I went from cringing at certain parts, thinking “really, I used to listen to stuff like this regularly,” to bobbing my head along and getting caught up in the fast verses and catchy choruses.
Take lead track “Without You.” After a speedy intro/first verse and melodic chorus, the second verse kicks in with a slower approach, essentially taking the same progression as the first verse but breaking it down with palm muted guitars as the singer laments about a relationship gone wrong. In one of the lines, he calls his estranged lover “sweetie” in an obviously sarcastic manner, and something about the way he sings that part just makes me say “eww.” But before long, they are back to the shredding, and I can’t help but want to move my body and finger-drum along on the closest hard surface.
Aside from a few cringe worthy moments though, there is no denying this a solid release by a talented band. They’ve got plenty of divebombs, breakdowns, and pinch harmonics to keep recently converted hardcore kids and metalheads interested. Their seamless blend of the pop-as-pop-can-be punk with all out speed is a great accomplishment. I can see We Were Sharks being a bridge between punks who normally align themselves with certain subgenres that otherwise wouldn’t have much more in common than the fact that they both listen to some type of punk rock.