Sharks and Sailors

Holy fucking shit. I can’t believe it’s taken me this damn long to put these folks on this little page. Why? To put it bluntly, because they’re probably the best indie-rock band in town right now; no offense to the many, many other talented bands doing their thing here in H-town, but Sharks and Sailors are truly something else. They’re loud, ferocious, and pummeling, all the while managing to keep things melodic and catchy. The band’s probably the closest thing Houston’s ever come to matching the precise, controlled-chaos fury of all those math-rock bands that came out of Louisville back in the day, or heck, maybe the nearest we’ve got to Unwound or Mission of Burma — think thundering, gonna-kick-your-ass bass, complex, intertwining guitar lines, off-but-it-works melody, and plenty of sung-spoken vocals. Put it all together, and Sharks and Sailors are an amazing thing to see/hear.

All of which makes sense, considering the band’s pedigree. I don’t know most of the members of the band (Melissa Lonchambon, bass/vocals; Michael Rollin, guitar/vocals; Phillip Woodward, drums) personally, but they’ve all been around the scene a while; bassist/vocalist Lonchambon, for one, has been in bands pretty much as long as I’ve lived here, from way back when with We’ve Got Airplanes and Pop Deflation up through the much-rockin’ Panic in Detroit a few years back. I’m very glad to see she’s kept moving on, getting better and better each time. Oh, and the guy up in the front used to be guitarist/singer Allen Hendrix, but he bowed out a while back to be able to devote more time to his family, which makes me sad but which I totally get, believe me…

Thankfully, after a few years of rocking out with one measly three-song EP, they now have a real-live full-length, Builds Brand New. And yes, it’s pretty damn awesome, although the band’s shifting somewhat from the full-on head-crushing assault to more of a hypnotic, trance-inducing sound. Credit where it’s due: it works. If these folks stay together, there’s no telling how far they’ll go.


Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Sunday, July 12th, 2009. Filed under Past Bands.

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