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Shark Island (1986)

Formerly known as The Sharks, Shark Island are the LA’sters who brought us the wonderful Alter Ego LP. Yes, those of us into serious music will remember this LP boasted cuts like ‘LA Rock’, ‘Under The Table’ and ‘Into The Wheel’. Well, now the band have bounced back with a new name, two new members and a batch of new killer cuts. The current line-up features Richard Czerny (vocals) and Spencer Sercombe (guitars), with the addition of Tom Rucci (bass) and Walt Woodward III (drums; ex-Americade).

Now I know for a fact that Shark Island could fill Gazzarri’s in Los Angeles for the rest of their lives; but to survive they are gonna have to take risks and play places like New York and Boston, and even London. That as far as I have heard is the reason why Shark Island haven’t broke it massive before now.

As far as the band’s music goes; well I would rate them possibly LA’s hottest property along with Poison. Check out demo opener ‘Dangerous’, which reminds me of prime Y&T. Richard Czerny’s vocals go one step beyond Dave Lee Roth. This slow paced rocker has you hooked to Shark Island’s brand of rock’n’roll almost immediately.

The atmospheric balladry of ‘Read My Lips’ is a high point for the finned ones as well, with its characteristic guitar pyrotechnics from one Spencer Sercombe. The whole sound and style reminds me a lot of Billy Idol. ‘Sex Drive’ has a killer chorus, backed by the best drum sound I’ve heard in ages from Walt ‘Wildman’ Woodward III. These Sharks seem to have had new life injected into them since Walt joined the band.

After a scorching version of ‘Grapevine’ comes the demo’s best cut, ‘Excess Marks The Spot’, which brings me memories of classic Aerosmith and Van Halen, coupled with the kind of powerful Eric Carr-style drum pounds. This song has everything rock’n’rollers could wish for; from the catchy chorus through to its Roth-like rap. Yep folks, Shark Island are very hot property indeed and I suggest you enlist to the Fin Club now.

Kelv Hellrazer

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 16 (1986)

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