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Ruin Everything!

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Album Review

Math rock can either put you to sleep, albeit with searing nightmares, or it can take you into the very equation itself. @Elephant 6-land/quirky-pop-utopia Athens, GA, seems an unlikely place for cerebral, Fugazi-meets-Emerson, Lake & Palmer post-punk/progressive rock, but the smoke billowing out of this closed, suburban garage door is not the result of a middle-aged, carbon-monoxide suicide attempt; it's the sound of speakers blowing out of their cabinets. We Versus the Shark must kill live, because their impressive debut, Ruin Everything!, bristles with the barely suppressed energy that can only emanate from a packed, sweaty basement show in mid-July. "You Don't Have to Kick It," with its caffeinated "La La Love You"-Pixies-drum cue, sets the listener up with a quick overture of what's to follow. In just four minutes the band manages to not only make art rock cool again, but blissfully danceable. Styles are referenced, slapped, and sent on their way throughout. From the hardcore onslaught of "This Graceless Planet" to the pop perfection of "Slide" — the best song X never wrote — We Versus the Shark's serpentine guitar lines, chilly synths, left-field horn sections, and leg-snapping percussion channel everyone from Rush to Gang of Four to Johann Sebastian Bach. Ruin Everything! is a serious debut, and although its power is occasionally sucked dry by the recording's flat production, it's impossible ignore the white-hot intensity of its execution.

Customer Reviews

As good as "popular" music gets

This debut makes you think about why other rockers aren't elevating their albums to this level. People think that rock can either be simple and raw, or epic and grandiose. This album does both better than anyone else.

no, you MUST kick it.

yah, the AMG review is right: these guys are great live. go see them live. but buy the album, too. the album's rad. i'm pretty squarely in the anti-math rock camp, and boy lemme tell ya, I sure was relived when these kids identified themselves as "Calculator Funk." That I can live with. Oh, and this one dude in the band insists their name has nothing to do with Chris Bachelder's novel "Bear v Shark," which seemed like a weird coincidence, but then he genuinely appeared not to have heard of the thing. Apparently it's a Jaws reference,

good stuff

they are spectacular live, this is worth the moneyyyyy....


Formed: Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Georgia indie pop quartet We Versus the Shark defy pigeonholing with their volatile, yet uniquely accessible blend of raw dance beats, guitar-driven funk and lo-fi/art rock splendor. Luke Douglas Fields (baritone/microtone/guitar/vocals), Samantha Erin Paulsen (guitar/vocals), Jeffery Daniel Tobias (bass/keys/vocals), and drummer Scott Philip Smith work as a single unit, eliminating the need for a traditional frontman by utilizing their multi-instrumental skills; trading instruments and taking turns...
Full Bio
Ruin Everything!, We Versus the Shark
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Customer Ratings