It starts with a sigh then a yowl. This represents the only moment of brevity to be found on the debut She-Gods of Champagne Valley EP from Brooklyn garage rock trio Sharkmuffin. Spanning five tracks and eleven minutes, the EP plays like a dizzying, boundary-less one night stand where taboo topics are blown up alongside raucous instrumentals.
Each track comes with a brief narrative element or evocative feeling such as album opener “Sleeping Alone” which “sounds like that time you prematurely ejaculated all over the baby-sitter when your wife went out of town.” Or “Mermaid Sex Slave” a “soft-core sexploitation scene of twisted sea monster stockholm syndrome.” If that doesn’t do it for you, there’s heroin and homicidal robots, incest, and skinny dipping all set against brilliant and inventive noise-pop.
Whereas some would play them to their campy, eye rolling nth degree, the B-movie inspired themes allows the true talents of Sharkmuffin to shine alongside the shocking, on the surface vocalized aesthetics. The trick comes from making the ridiculous become the normal allowing the band the freedom to bring a swagger and sound that screeches and bleeds no matter what mouth-agape topic they may be effortlessly eschewing.
Whatever percentage of the raw sexuality is sincere is also made irrelevant by front woman Tarra Thiessen’s rebel Dum Dum Girl delivery. At one moment her delivery can reach an apex wail and immediately dove-tail into a melodious “oh-oh-oh” as the churning inferno bar-room rock constructions relentlessly keep pace.
It’s clear that Sharkmuffin is here to have fun and make fun with their sound and subject material, but ultimately there’s a real force packed into the self contained She-Gods of Champagne Valley EP. As the band often satiates their appetites with pizza, so too may listeners whet theirs in advance of a, hopefully, soon to come full LP.