Shark Quest

Shark Quest

Shark Quest

Gods and Devils

Merge

Chapel Hill’s Shark Quest is one of the few current instrumental rock outfits that consistently opt for driving, emphatic rhythms and discernable melodies over post-rock ambience and dissonance. Originally conceived as a soundtrack for an independent claymation film, Gods and Devils manages to capture a range of moods without delving too deeply into rote “mood” music. The exquisite jig-like opener, “The Rosetta Barrage,” touches on mandolin/guitar interplay, arctic surf guitar and proto-funk. “Sin the Moon” has melancholy central finger-plucked guitar arrangements that are equally informed by John Fahey and The Eagles. “Three Ivy Leaves” is the best piece of minor-key-autumnal-pop-turned-middle-eastern-raga I’ve ever heard. “Shivers” begins as an aching ode to traditional British folk before bottoming out into a Hammond-filled Fleetwood Mac groove, etc… You get the idea.

Like the culmination of a more focused Japancakes and a less taciturn Tortoise, Shark Quest still manages to span music genres largely untouched by their contemporaries. Let’s hope it’s not three more years before their next one.

Merge Records: www.mergerecords.com

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