Sharks

Like a Van Parked on a Dark Curve

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20 years on from their short, but oh-so-glorious career on the fringes of the '70s' British hard rock scene, the Sharks reform around founding members Chris Spedding and Snips to cut an album that really does merit mention in the same breath as its predecessors.

Recorded in 1993, the album was not ultimately released until 1998, but the wait was worthwhile. With the Attractions' Pete Thomas stepping in for absent drummer Marty Simon, and Jackie Badger on bass, the original band's edgy blues-rock take on glam is updated with surprising ferocity. Spedding is in devastating form throughout. He spits out solos and riffs without a glance at the passing years, and one quickly remembers why Snips is often regarded as the one singer he's worked with who could truly match him for guts. Similarly, the album's finest moments -- "Gone To The Dogs," "Wake Me When It's Time To Dance," "Blue Rags And Hollers" -- all have a slashing, sashaying defiance that sums up the edgy outlaw aura that was the Sharks' province in their prime.

Reunions are often grand disappointments -- and reunions that are then delayed for five years invariably fall flat on their faces. The Sharks, however, retain all the bite they ever had. A triumphant return.

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