Sharkmuffin burst onto our radar last month with the release of “Serpentina”, a single that stuttered and strutted its way across our minds in a way that left us feeling dazed and bemused. It seemed to be a mere hint of the full picture however, as the Brooklyn trio’s new EP Gamma Gardening is a storyboard beyond all manner of ambition.
Gamma Gardening is a “sci-fi rock opera starring Serpentina, a dominatrix that takes a temp job as a receptionist and has an affair with a genetic engineer.” mentioned by the band to Adhoc. The EP follows an explosive timeframe of Serpentina, who has a baby with said engineer and subsequently has it taken away for testing purposes. Sadly Serpentina chooses to take her life and we’re…wondering how we’ve not been fans of Sharkmuffin sooner.
“Receptionist” kicks off the EP with a flurry of crunchy guitar riffs and a frantic pace that clearly details the rush of nerves and emotions that come with starting a new job. The cyclical performance of the drums seems to roll endlessly into the mind, backed up by the soaring harmonies and barking sounds of the vocals.
“They code a designer baby together that can breathe underwater and survive in outer space without a suit.” states the band for “Designer Baby”, a track that draws out the tempo as if plunging the listener underwater too. Once again the vocal harmonies swirl around the mind, soon making way for a thunderous mix of glitched feedback and furious guitar solos to celebrate the existing of said designer baby. Things begin to unwind as “Serpentina” ramps up the tension with its stalking rhythm and paranoid riffs ringing out into the open, slithering nicely into the six minute spiralling despair of “Too Many Knobs”. What a gloriously horrendous collision of noise this is.
The EP closes out with “Fate”, another single which showcases Sharkmuffin at their most melancholic. Through the sadness comes a succinct set of guitar solos and melodic pieces that constantly crash against the thunderous displays of emotion that bursts out of the song every few seconds. It’s a great way to bring an end to an EP that’s provided as much entertainment story wise as it has sonically. Gamma Gardening is a superb EP from Sharkmuffin, and may Serpentina RIP