Some people will tell you if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. Well, no, actually you do have to work, and very hard too, at what you love or else what's the fucking point in trying in the first place? The whole idea behind loving something is your dedication to it, knowing you'll do just about anything to ensure it's continued growth with you. Rob Elba and Fausto Figueredo, who make up Shark Valley Sisters, must feel this exact passion and dedication behind making music, and it's quite evident on Prince And The Punk.
These guys, though not together till now, have been playing music since the late 1990's. That doesn't make them spring chickens, but what it gives them is the experience to know how to tweak a sound just right, and have the experience to craft a great sound. Mixing alternative riffs with garage rock beats and the occasional punk rock melody, Shark Valley Sisters are clearly products of their generation, but that really adds another level to their music. It doesn't angle for a nostalgic value, but gets it anyways, and that's a credit to their desire to hold onto a simpler form of music making instead of succumbing to the wave of nonsense we've got going on today.
"Maggots" and "Song 9", though short, deliver very catchy alternative riffs that, as mentioned, have a bit of a punk rock vibe to them, but don't succumb to it's overall attitude. Being a 2 piece, these guys also make the songs simple, which is also a breath of fresh air in an age where a one man band will have 400 pieces of electronic equipment on stage at any given time. I feel like Avril Lavigne had a point when she asked us: 'Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?'. Why did we indeed. The digital age has made us a very lazy generation, but it's nice to see bands like S.V.S kicking it old school and reminding us it can still be done right.
Avril Lavigne references aside (I actually referenced her in my blog....upsetting), these guys stay relatively true to themselves and their audience, occasionally sounding a little bit like a grunge band, but not circa 1991 Seattle. "Hum" and "The Evil And The Stupid" don't sound like Mudhoney or anything, but they've got a chord progression to them that was unmistakable. It adds to the overall 'flavor' of them album, because these guys must have some amazing and varied inspirations, because its very clear they just love music. Keeping with one sound is hard enough, but managing to blend all those retro (Wait.....are the 90's now officially retro? Shit, I'm getting old) sounds together and have them come out whenever they see fit is amazing.
Prince And The Punk is a terrific listen, and the knowledge these guys have of alternative-styled music has really payed off for them. There isn't anything to warn you about, because musically, they know what they're doing. Some people might not be into the vocals (I call it 'David Byrne Style' vocals, where it sounds more like talking than singing), but I personally love it, and feel it adds to the overall product of the album. Maybe we should all work as hard as these guys do, because, if we did, maybe we'd love what we did as much as they do. - Shane