steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Sharks and Minnows

"The Cost of Living" CD

Two Sheds Music

Genres: indie rock, indie pop

Two Sheds Music
PO Box 5455
Atlanta, GA

Oct 25 - 31 2004

Put simply, Sharks and Minnows is a band with a strong sense of melody.  Their songs' success rests on their catchiness, and fortunately The Cost of Living keeps the hooks coming.  Their style is typical indie pop/rock with a general accessibility that will enable it to appeal to just about anyone.  In terms of comparison, S+M fit in with the cheery, carefree school of pop - think The Wannadies, Ashley Stove, and perhaps a less angsty Paris, Texas.  This is music to be alive to, if you will.

The Cost of Living's best songs are those that make their "mark" upon the first listen.  Ultimately, all of this disc's songs will be stuck in your head at one point, but true treasures like "Arlington #4" and "Slow Learner" (which sounds a bit like Enon's "Natural Disasters") convey their loveliness right off the bat.

Like any good pop album, The Cost of Living has its fair share of upbeat, energetic numbers, as well as slower, calm songs.  "Sunday Driver" and "Small Song" fall into the former category - they are two very strong pieces of music that are sure to draw smiles from a listener.  "Baby Boom" and "Nightblindness," meanwhile, are more relaxed and slow-paced - they aren't necessarily the disc's best songs, but they are still remarkably enjoyable.

This is one of the best pop releases I've heard in a long time.  Sharks and Minnows were a complete unknown to me previous to The Cost of Living, but they've quickly become a personal favourite.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks + 1 hidden, distributed by the label, released 2004]