Leave it to a metal band to find inspiration in shark attacks. Seattle progressive metal group Akimbo dredges up a terrifying World War I-era story in their latest, Jersey Shores. As the band so eloquently puts it, “Five attacks in 12 days. Witch hunt.” Through vivid lyrics and a sense of urgency ingrained in most metal music, Akimbo tells how great white sharks bled dry the fun of New Jersey’s summer, 1916. The victims, Charles Vansant and others, make appearances, their deaths painted in a fury of bass lines and drum solos. Tide, struggle and fear are all here.
Akimbo’s track-to-track transitions flow seamlessly, each ending feeding into the next beginning. But the album, a truly impressive work, isn’t without an Achilles heel. At several points, Akimbo stretches guitar distortion minutes too long, unintentionally letting the music fade to white noise.
Jersey Shores reaches a crescendo with “Great White Bull.” Here the band takes a stand on the aftermath of the attacks, having addressed statewide panic and the resulting submarine witch hunt. “Mercy has no home among the waves.” Just like a metal band to side with the sharks. (Alex Sakariassen)
Akimbo plays the Badlander Sunday, Nov. 2, at 9 PM, as part of the Festival of the Dead festivities. Lazerwolfs and Deny the Dinosaur open. $5.