Review: ElephantSharkWave Presents…

Posted: by The Editor


If your first thought hearing the title ElephantSharkWave Presents: Friday the 13th: The Made for TV Movie (The Official Soundtrack) Volume 1 (Remastered) is that it reminds you of MoBo Presents: The Perfect Cast EP Featuring Modern Baseball, this might be just the release you need to fill the baseball sized hole in your heart after Modern Baseball’s weekend of farewell shows.

This three-way-split sees three promising bands, Elephant Jake, Stand and Wave, and Shark Club, contributing two tracks apiece. While each band has a similar sound, there is still a welcome amount of variation both between artists and their own tracks, making this cohesive as well as jam-packed in a way many splits are not.

Elephant Jake came out swinging and hit it out of the park with a continuation of the sound they started with their debut album, Classic., earlier this year. “F.D.C.” is a raucous emo punk jam that flows into the jangly and singsongy “Playgrounds.” Together these tracks represent the highs and lows of transitionary periods. Vocalist Sal Fratto speaks about the uncertainty that change brings: “It can go one way or another / I’m on top of the world / Or it’s crushing me down under.” He also reminisces on the carefree feelings from childhood that come with the highs or through escapism when they sing, “I just want to close my eyes/ Float like castles in the sky / Thanks for kissing me goodnight / Maybe now I’ll sleep, I’ll sleep alright.” The anxiety that comes with starting a relationship, learning to be an adult, or any other type of change can be crippling and isolating, but Elephant Jake prove that it’s not something you’re going through alone.

Continuing the theme of childhood recollections, Stand and Wave brings us “Ms. Quinn’s 3rd Grade Class.” The band’s two tracks fall somewhere between Sorority Noise’s Forgettable and Modern Baseball. The vocals have a unique timbre, which at times skews toward the shrill, but come off as endearing. Melodically, the songs are especially memorable with choruses that lend themselves to head bobbing. Thinking about the people you used to know can be a strange, almost disorienting experience when considering how different life is between past and present.

Shark Club rounds out the split with slow and smooth emo. A different member provides lead vocals for each song. Though they both have the quality of a modern rock crooner, their different registers give these tracks an added flare of variety. The more subdued sound of Shark Club eases the listener to the end of the album, with the acoustic “Mr. Jones Strikes Back!” bringing it to a full close. Transitioning to silence lends itself to contemplation and it is easy to reflect on the 20 minutes spent listening to ElephantSharkWave Presents: Friday the 13th: The Made for TV Movie (The Official Soundtrack) Volume 1 (Remastered) as a positive experience.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Take a listen to the Split on Bandcamp!


– Scott Fugger