One of the best things about loving local music is seeing bands come into their own, and Everett’s Shark The Herald is doing just that. SMI first encountered the band a mere seven months ago when they were just a year old and in the midst of recording their debut, This Is That…And That is For You (Soniphone). The cd of rough recordings was impressive. And what a growth spurt occurred in the intervening months. Friday’s album release party showed the band to be in its best live form yet as they powered through a set of dark, crushing tunes with fuzz-fueled guitar solos.
There is a point in a band’s career where they start to sound “tight”: it’s a term that comes into play when the musicians sync up perfectly and the music exudes confidence. Nothing is out of step. It’s safe to say that Shark The Herald have attained this level with their live act. The effect of this on the crowd at The Cannery was nothing short of grin-inducing. Fans of the second opener for Shark (and there were more than a few) stopped in their tracks as they headed toward the door. They thought they were done for the night, but no. Lead guitarist Nick Michel is deceptively normal and unruffled-looking as he sears through grunge-worthy runs up and down the neck of his guitar. Vocalist/guitarist Kirk Rutherford embodies more of the PNW rocker spirit with his ripped jeans, hair-flinging, and stomping about the stage. His voice was on point that night, the usual added reverb nowhere to be found, which was a vast improvement. Thys Ferwerda hit the toms as if he could break through them to another dimension, while bassist Tyler Holmes noodled his bass with apparent ease, smiling all the while. The grungy blues tune “Tongue Tied” was a particular favorite.
Rock/funk/metal/hiphop fusion outfit How Bout Now opened the show with a sound that draws easy comparisons to ’80s juggernaut Living Colour, which may seem far-fetched for a newish band with nary a web presence to be seen, but there it is. Their political rant, “1%,”‘ was catchy as hell, and the lead singer’s voice was nothing short of amazing. It’s certain that we will learn more about How Bout Now very soon.
Choir of Crickets took the baton from there and proceeded to meander. Their demo is actually pretty interesting, veering between atmospheric sounds and snarling guitar; however their live act needs some work. The good news is that they have a bevy of fans rooting for them, which is just the sort of support that a band needs to grow.