Introducing: Nasty Fishmonger

The fishmonger by trade is an ancient one, a guild officially recognised, ratified, protected, and regulated by the crown as early as 1212, and forms one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. Today, better known as the Fishmongers’ Company, or the far more grandiose Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, they still stand as a significant authority in upholding the standards, of retail and trading within the seafood industry. Safe to say, they have a lot of heritage and history to celebrate for what is commonly revered as a humble and modest profession. It is exactly the kind of heritage and lore that bards and folk musicians have thrived upon for centuries; to able to artistically recollect tales in such rousing fashion, that their own words, songs, and melodies, endure as long as the history they’re based upon. Bristol’s Nasty Fishmonger, of course based in the West Country, a realm with its own rich history and unique traditions upheld, are no exception to this mentality.

For this trio of university friends, what initially began as a one-off, tongue-in-cheek performance, has shifted and expanded into a bright, burning new star on the UK folk scene, within just eighteen months. Going from corpse paint in their local venue, to sharing the same stage with Port Isaac Fisherman’s Friends in under a year, is some real heavyweight endorsement. That’s no matter of luck either. The union and chemistry between Captain Rehab, Lizzie Blower, and Shanty Dan, generate a formidable, infectious energy so powerful, the pride of Her Majesty’s Navy would be envious. Fitting then, that their first recorded output honour the life and times of fearsome Irish pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, who infamously stood against Elizabeth I.

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In their riotous live performances, Grace O’Malley has become their opening gambit; four minutes of stomping punk rhymes and sharp-tongued narration, driven by the feisty fretwork of Captain Rehab. Gentle, perhaps understated plucks of mandolin, interject beneath the already tremendous kinetic force of acoustic guitar, those singular notes so subtly adding emotional depth to this ballad, it deserves commendation for how rich their songwriting strength really is. The story begins with O’Malley’s pleads to accompany her father overseas to Spain, to share in the family’s trade forays in that coastal domain, performed with the command of a town crier, mere inches away from a full-on punk snarl or a pirate’s growl seeping into the vocals. The fact neither fully engulf the dialect, yet those ever-so familiar tones linger in every inflection, carry that rebellious spirit marvellously. Then the thumping of kick drum begins, alongside several sustains from the recorder, the harmonies imbuing a sense of romanticism and airiness, a sea breeze if you will, to the recollection of O’Malley’s brief marriages, that pumping tempo leading straight to the chorus, and into her chief role of defending the shores from English oppression. The unison at the end of everybody’s vocals, emphasising the teachings of O’Malley, has the pair of male vocals more prominent, and while maybe or maybe not intentional, serves a clever little juxtaposition and only further reinforces the pirate queen as a brilliant, but sorely forgotten figure of historical feminism.

Details of the conquest of Doona Castle, and the aforementioned confrontation with Queen Elizabeth later unravel, the duly noted refusing to bow before her, and carrying a dagger as protection, causing quite the stir for its time, and afterwards, led to her support of Irish insurgents in the Nine Years War. You could even argue that the final minute of the song, the manic adrenaline of guitar, banjo, and recorder, with the kick drum gathering pace, encapsulates an aural metaphor for battle frenzy, or at its loosest listen, some form of wardance. In any case, after such a tall tale, to create that kind of exhilaration, the kind that this fascinating character led her entire life by, is a fitting testament and tribute. And to think that only begins a Nasty Fishmonger live show. Plainly and simply, for a first single, this is a band with the incendiary attitude, and the devotion and ingenuity to translate fables and folklore, into the most rapturous, yet meticulously textured history lesson you’ll ever participate in.

Grace O’Malley is released 17/04/20, with a live stream to celebrate the single launch to follow.

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The Secret Tsunami Club – S1E07

‘Music can’t make waves, if you don’t know it exists’ – The Soundshark.

Broadcast #7, from a realm in time and space that has intercepted two hours of the best in under the radar, underground, and unsigned music.

This is the Secret Tsunami Club.

Tracklist:

Indian Queens – Shoot For Sexy
Grave Danger – Undead End Job
Casino Kid – Mr. Rat
Ginkgo Dawn Shock – The Second Fish Curse
Exploring Birdsong – The River
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Dangerous Game
Diamond Tactics – Pink Mist
THORN. – Noctum
Huge Molasses Tank Explodes – So Much To Lose
Los Tabanos Experience – Majestic Volcano
Fault Choir – Marketplace
Plague of Carcosa – The Crawling Chaos
Helalyn Flowers – Suicidal Birds
Maud The Moth – As Above So Below
C O L D K I S S – World’s Burn
Airsh4d3 – aurora
Pete Crane – You Are Not Your Body
THEY.I – Vegas Mode
Immortal Girlfriend – Ride
Blanku – Miracle (feat. NVRLUV)
FFF – No Ice Cream
3VS – Red Sun Drive
The Oscilloscope – Shaded Diagram
Boogie Belgique – Cessna (ft. Ian Burgina)
Okami (O) – Ikara

Please support the artists featured.

Want all the music, but with no interruptions?

Here’s a playlist of this show’s music:

Independently curated, recorded, produced, and edited by The Soundshark.

All episodes so far can be found here.

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Peter Steele And Me

Peter Steele

As I sit on April 14th, yet again mourning the loss of Type O Negative’s Peter Steele, and reliving the sorrow that I will never get to see this monolithic band on stage, ever, on the 10th anniversary of Peter’s passing, I felt I should add some words of my own, to the floods of tributes already paid, to a literal giant of the alternative music scene.

The first time I truly recall the work of Type O Negative in my life, was a feature in Kerrang, with a beginner’s guide to their work (which was an excellent feature and I think they should’ve kept up, and unless the well ran dry, someone else could really monetise this premise), highlighting their 15 best songs, and the albums you should purchase. Although my love of music had not yet blossomed to its fullest strength, track names, album titles, and finer details quietly seeped into my brain of this newly acquired band, and did not awaken until three or so years later. That being in a time where music streaming and YouTube were still in their embryonic stages, and as a teen with little money, mp3 samples on online retail outlets, and the use of LimeWire, were my common practices to cherry pick and obtain the music I wanted to listen to. Yet I didn’t make the first step. My brother did.

My brother, head deep into his emo phase at this time, scoped out and sourced various different, often provocative, bands and songs from LimeWire, put them on an iPod, or played directly from his laptop, and that music permeated out of his bedroom door seven days a week, right up until he slept. One such song he played was Dead Again, taken from the titular album around the time of its release, and while it never initially gripped me, rotations over months and a huge love for thrash metal, brought pleasure when it belted out from his speakers. I eventually asked for the song to listen to myself, and in that moment, triggered the memory of that Kerrang article, and the song titles I should seek if I wanted to hear more. Unbeknownst to me, my brother did also have this song himself, but Wolf Moon, acclaimed to be the best song they had written by whomever was in charge of that article, was the song I next listened to, and it tore open an entirely new realm of music to me.

There was something about that bone-grinding bass tone against the backdrop of ethereal gloom, the keys alone scratching that 80s itch I’d later become obsessed with, but his ungodly bellow, reaching from a place of pain yet staggeringly melodic, totally floored sixteen year old me. How could something sound so gargantuan, melancholic, and beautiful at the same time? My first encounter with Wolf Moon did precede becoming better acquainted with Sabbath’s back catalogue, but in those six minutes of head-crushing bliss, a world where Ozzy and Paul McCartney went for a sad drink in the pub, and wrote songs together, made absolute sense. I wholeheartedly defend Wolf Moon as the best song ever written about giving head to a girl on her period.

Wolf Moon became somewhat of a staple in what was a meek offering of my musical tastes, but my love and fascination with Peter Steele and Type O Negative never truly took off until Spotify sprung into existence. I had already owned Dead Again in full by this time, but the true birth of music streaming, enabled me to experience so much more of what was Type O’s darker, heavier, and often deeply hilarious universe. You can take countless examples through out their career on what is considered as the funniest Type O song, but mine remains September Sun from Dead Again, while an excellent song in its own right, it almost exists solely to be a upbeat pastiche of November Rain. The Drab Four was perhaps an astute term befitting their music, but it cannot be understated just how funny this band were, attached or separated from their art.

With firm adoration established, the very harsh reality that I could never experience them live began to set in. No chilling rendition of Love You To Death. No deafening chants of Black No.1. No tongue-in-cheek pomp of My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend. No venue-trashing frenzy from I Don’t Wanna Be Me. That particular space in my head to fill with being in the same room with another of my favourite bands, will forever remain a void, and hollow.

Peter Steele, a man whose lore and public perception paints him as one of the nicest people to grace alternative metal, who battled his own demons and vices for decades, and perhaps in a final hope, turned back to Catholicism in his last years, before his body succumbed to the damage that had been done to it. A larger than life person and personality that could never take to the stage again. Especially in an age where the veil surrounding mental health is gradually dissipating, his demeanour and conduct was always that of a magnetic and wildly entertaining songwriter and individual. Were he still alive, could things have been any different? Perhaps, but with so many warming accounts, archive footage, and of course his incredible back catalogue, to ponder that what if scenario only does an injustice to the memories of those who met him, and were touched by his music. A man who by his twilight years came in touch with his own mortality, and despite not following so many parallels with, I felt a genuine human connection to.

The greatest example I can offer you is a lengthy interview with the often considered divisive Juliya, which is still one of my favourite videos I revisit, in which her closing question to the band is ‘How would you like to die?’ The vast majority of the interview is jovial in tone and while the rest of the band answers in the same light-hearted manner, Peter answers with the following, could be considered sobering, statement:

‘How would I like to die? It wouldn’t really matter, so long as I made a difference in the world.’

Every April 14th, I’m reminded of these words as a moral code to abide by, in the hope I can one day get closer to that goal of feeling like I too can make a difference before I shuffle off the mortal coil. It seems fitting that Peter admired Rasputin, a historical figure who famously couldn’t die, because for the influence he has had on my life, and countless others, as a musician and as a true innovator, he too, will surely never die in the hearts of music fans either.

Thank you, Peter.

Rest in peace.

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The Secret Tsunami Club – S1E06

The Secret Tsunami Club - S1E06

‘Music can’t make waves, if you don’t know it exists’ – The Soundshark.

Broadcast #6, from a realm in time and space that has intercepted two hours of the best in under the radar, underground, and unsigned music.

This is the Secret Tsunami Club.

Tracklist:

Grenades – Primate
Ultramariini – Sointu
Rosy Finch – Vermillion
Coyote Man – Perilous
Boneweaver – Depths (feat. Sam Mooradian)
Airships On The Water – Overcaster
You Win Again Gravity – Recursive
I See Vultures – Goodnight, City Lights
No Ostriches – The Solid Lipstick Drama
[Amatory] – Нож (feat. RAM)
Wasted Struggle – Daily Abuse
NYOS – Curiosity
Bubblegum Octopus – Come Back, Beat Life
Bone Cult – Realise
Houses of Heaven – Sleep
Panther Modern – Ask Yourself
Sidewalks and Skeletons – Letting Go
Violent Vickie – Serotonin
Zombie Commando – The Thunder God
Ideesnoires – Echo
Tommy Krües – Miami Miami
Avalon Rays – Holding Back (feat. Spike C)
Dave Owen – Venom
Ash Walker – Come With Us (feat. Yazz Ahmed)
MCL (Micro Chip League) – Soft Electro Song

Please support the artists featured.

Want all the music, but with no interruptions?

Here’s a playlist of this show’s music:

Independently curated, recorded, produced, and edited by The Soundshark.

All episodes so far can be found here.

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10 Moments In The Last Decade That Music Made Memorable

Memories… we all have them for the express purpose of giving us something to recall in our lives, a mark of experience whether with fondness, sorrow, or regret. A particular facet or detail, of that handful of seconds, or minutes in your life can be so evocative, so powerful, that you can recall it for as long as you breathe the air you’re given. Sometimes that one detail can be a song, and science continues to prove that music may be among the most powerful of keys to unlock long lost memories, especially in those whose minds may deteriorate faster than the average human being. In such a troublesome time where everyday life has been put on hold indefinitely, it seems almost flippant to reminisce about a period that was within reach mere months ago and pine for those memories, to be free once more in that moment. Music being the almighty force it is, there were moments for myself in the last decade, undoubtedly the greatest growth period in my still short yet slowly developing life, that a song made even an insignificant event into an exhibition, from the inside of a frantically paced head. Here’s the ten most memorable of them:

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