February 21st, 2013 | Album reviews

Jessica Stenner

Shark Toys

This is one bug-eyed full-length, with an overabundance of both anxiety and energy captured by engineer Monty Buckles of the Lamps, and across nine songs it never takes a rest—across the first eight songs, it never even slows down. Instead it’s scribble-scribble guitar, boom-boom-boom drums and big sizzling smears of keyboard, and then varying degrees of composure and unhingement from singer (and L.A. RECORD contributor) Danny Clodfelter. Billy Childish if his mind was unwound by Hardcore Devo instead of Kinda Kinks? Well, not completely, but when you hear the keys burn through the song “Library” like a cigarette against a strip of film, you WILL suddenly see a miniature Mark Mothersbaugh doing that “This Moog is electrocuting me!” dance right before your eyes. Otherwise a lotta Urinals in this, lotta Swell Maps, some of the Modern Lovers demos—“She Cracked” with the radio static and the Kim Fowley production credit, if we wanna be accurate—and a lot of the caveman-savant philosophy that lights up Wounded Lion and probably every band Chris Woodhouse produces. “Victorian House” and “Library” are my winners, punk songs smashed to pieces and reassembled with the landing gear pointing in the wrong direction, but there’s a song here for anybody who likes DDT for breakfast—and anybody who likes to wing it.

Chris Ziegler