Review by Shannon Shumaker
Hard hitting melodic choruses and stellar vocal harmonies are sure to hook you within the first few tracks of We Were Sharks newest release, Not A Chance. Starting things off strong is “Without You,” with a hint of longing and frustration in the vocals and a slower chorus that really sticks. Thankfully, the chorus isn’t the only strong point of “Without You,” though. The verses carry the song forward with high energy, and even the bridge provides a nice change of pace, showcasing the band’s great songwriting skills and ability to seamlessly transition between sounds and songs throughout the album.
While it is kind of hard to tell where “Without You” and the following track “Bridgeburner” end and begin, it makes for a fast and seamless transition. And despite the similar sounding beginning, “Bridgeburner” ends up feeling very different from the opening track, showing some versatility from this pop-punk group. “Bridgeburner” has a very anthemic feeling to it, especially when the gang vocals come in at the end of the track, giving it a big and positive sounding ending.
Things keep chugging forward with the following track, “Not A Chance In Halifax,” which starts a bit differently than the first two songs, with some really intricate and interesting guitar work. Setting this song apart from the pack are definitely the instrumentals, from the fun, continuously moving guitar work to the strong bass tone. However, where the instrumentals shine on “Not A Chance In Halifax,” the vocals seem to fall a little bit flat. The slow chorus sounds very similar to the vocal patterns on “Bridgeburner,” and unfortunately don’t seem to keep up with the guitar work. The next track thankfully picks things back up again, though. “How To Lose Your Cool” is a perfect snapshot of what to expect on Not A Chance. The lead guitar work on this track is fun to listen to, the vocal harmonies are beautiful, and the rhythm section keeps things easily chugging forward. With simple and memorable lyrics, this track is catchy while remaining fun to listen to.
The sound that We Were Sharks have established on Not A Chance is not only solid, but it is definitely a sound all their own. Not once throughout the EP do you find yourself comparing them to other pop-punk artists or finding that they fall short compared to their peers. Songs like “Run For Cover,” featuring Jordan Black of Like Pacific are emotionally charged, and though the lyrics can tend to be fairly simplistic, it’s catchy as hell and more importantly, memorable. By the time the first chorus comes to an end on “Run For Cover,” you’ll want to sing along. With a solid sound established on this EP, the only thing that We Were Sharks need to do in order to grow is diversify a bit. Though these seven songs are all upbeat and catchy, they also stay on the same level throughout the majority of the EP. While this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, it would be a real treat to see what We Were Sharks are capable of with more room to expand and grow on a full length. Much like the theme of the final track on the EP, “Moving Forward,” We Were Sharks can only grow from here.
Listen to "How To Lose Your Cool" or "Run For Cover"
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