Sharks – ‘Killers Of The Deep’ (SMS Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jim Rowland   
Thursday, 19 January 2017 04:30

Sharks - Killers Of The DeepFor the uninitiated, Sharks were a supergroup of sorts founded by former Free bassist Andy Fraser in 1972, featuring guitarist Chris Spedding and vocalist Stephen ‘Snips’ Parsons. They formed amid much fanfare, signed to Island Records, had considerable amounts of money pumped into them and received much critical acclaim, but despite all of that fate conspired against them and they failed to hit the heights that were expected, falling apart a mere two years later in 1974.


Although the individual members have collaborated together on several occasions in the intervening years, ‘Killers Of The Deep’ sees them resurface under the Sharks moniker for the first time since that break up. Sadly, Andy Fraser is no longer around, having passed away in 2015. Spedding and Parsons are still very much alive and kicking though, and are joined in this new incarnation of Sharks by keyboard player Nick Judd, who played on Sharks’ second album ‘Jab It In Yore Eye’ in 1974, along with bassist Tosh Ogawa and ex-Pistol Paul Cook on drums. Together, they are setting out to right the wrongs of the original band’s adventure with one final album: but do Sharks still have the bite all these years later?


On this evidence, they most certainly do. The original band sat somewhere loosely between the blues rock and pub rock of the 1970s, as well as possessing a touch of the snarl that would influence the punk rock movement that would arrive a few years later, and that formula survives with this new album. ‘Ya Ya Pop’ kicks the album off in fine style, with a riff and chorus more catchy than a winter cold, and ‘Snips’ Parsons’ vocal rich and seductive, slightly reminiscent of David Johansen to my ears.


Indeed, if you were a fan of any of the albums the New York Dolls made following their reformation, ‘Killers Of The Deep’ will certainly appeal. The Dolls were of course not a million miles away from the Rolling Stones, and it’s pretty hard to listen to this album without the Stones coming to mind too, especially on the funky soul-infused rock of ‘The Complete History of Soul Music’ which has the vibe of later 70’s Stones, perhaps ‘Some Girls’ era. ‘One Last Thrill’, Sharks’ first ever single from the end of last year, follows similar lines albeit in slightly smoother fashion.



‘Can’t Get The Devil’ is a highlight for me, an up tempo blues rocker with a catchy ‘Smokestack Lightning’-esque riff, with the sassy ‘Callilia’ rocking hard and providing another album highlight, as does the impressive ‘Red Red Red’. ‘Killers On The New Tube’ is a driving blues rocker making great use of slide guitar, and the keyboards shine on the more laid back ‘Swirl’ and ‘Cheetahs Always Win’. The rocking ‘Music Break Out’ closes the album in the impressive, ultra-catchy fashion that ‘Ya Ya Pop’ opened it with.


Clocking in at just under the 40 minute mark, perfect for vinyl, ‘Killers Of The Deep’ provides ten cuts of classy, sexy and swaggering blues rock with bite, and certainly deserves to deliver the success that eluded Sharks first time round.


Pure quality.


‘Killers Of The Deep’ is released on 27 January.


Sharks play The 100 Club in London (with High Treason) on Wednesday 8 February and the Hare And Hounds in Brighton on Thursday 9 February.