By. Jamie Goyman
VICTORIA – After a small hiatus, Vancouver’s own Fake Shark are coming back fully stocked and ready to keep the momentum rolling. Their new album Faux Real (out May 26 on Light Organ Records) not only comes across as their most cohesive work to date; it also features the vocal stylings of Hannah Georges on mid-album track “NOFOMO,” and “The Real Zombie” is matched with the lyrical flow of the one and only Kool Keith. “That song is really about putting away the old version of the band,” explains lead vocalist Kevvy Mental. “It’s a new lineup and a new sound, so that one lyrically is about putting a bullet into the head of a real zombie (*ahem* Fake Shark – Real Zombie).”
Coming off their 2015 release Liar, the band has tried to simultaneously satisfy their own tastes while trying not to alienate their audience, really showing the new direction they’ve set in motion for themselves. Cutting the track list down from the original 70 written songs to the album-listed 11 was no easy feat for the guys; figuring out exactly how to make their tastes a reality and put it out for the masses to enjoy is never a cakewalk. After working on albums for Carly Rae Jepsen and The Katherines, Mental took hold of his vision and placed his thumb on the middle grounds of two vastly different styles: punk and pop. “I just kept writing new songs and changing direction,” says Mental. “I wasn’t sure how pop I wanted to go, which was a real struggle for me because I had been producing and writing so much radio pop and I like that stuff, but I also like Black Flag…I think ‘Cheap Thrills’ is a marriage of those things.” That gritty bass, pulsating beat, and Tony Dallas’s very James Brown-esque moments throughout really puts fans on notice of what Fake Shark is all about in their new form.
Meeting their goal of creating a record that wouldn’t come off completely alien to fans, yet still bring something new to the mix, Fake Shark really put their best foot forward with this one. “Some of the content on the album is so personal that it feels kind of awkward being in the room with people when they hear it. It’s really vulnerable and I’d say ‘Heart 2 Heart’ is the best example of that,” says Mental. “If someone were to read the lyrics to me I would probably crawl into my own belly button. It’s like holding the awkward part of a journal and just handing it over to a bunch of people.” A trifecta of talent and ambition, these West Coast boys aren’t strangers to hard work. Always learning, growing, and pushing themselves to expand on musical boundaries, Fake Shark are nowhere close to being finished yet. To put it bluntly, they aren’t lazy about anything.
Fake Shark will be at the Lucky Bar (Victoria) May 27, The Forge (Edmonton) June 1, and Commonwealth Bar & Stage (Calgary) June 3.commonwealth Bar & Stage, fake shark, Lucky Bar, the forge