Sharky’s Machine

  • Sharky's Machine
  • Let's Be Friends (Shimmy-Disc) 1987 
  • Killdozer 85
  • There's No Mistaking Quality (Lucha Libre) 1984 

Born as an odd post-hardcore band named Killdozer 85, this NYC quartet changed its name to Sharky’s Machine after Wisconsin’s Killdozer signed to Touch and Go. There’s No Mistaking Quality has a decent amount of guitar-slurping (in an amped-up Gun Club style), but the rhythmic base is too frequently reliant on hardcore’s polka-born time keeping.

Let’s Be Friends is a much more interesting effort. The rhythms are a lot more open, the guitar heads into the kind of heat-shimmering overload associated with James Williamson’s work, and the songs seem much more cohesively screwy. Without abandoning some of hardcore’s more goofball tactics, Sharky’s Machine managed to create a kind of noisy street rock that was both mesmerizingly complex (in a vaguely dumb way) and unlike anybody else working the same crowded genre.

[Byron Coley]