Cost of Living
Now approach the completion of it's fifth year as a band, noise pop purveyors Sharks and Minnows has seen it's sound described at various times as power pop, indie rock, punk/pop, emo, or chamber pop. The 'recommended if you like' comparisons have run the gamut of Husker Du, Replacements, Sugar, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Dismemberment Plan, and Wilco. While trying to fit the band's sound into a strict adjective pigeonhole has proven difficult, what's clear is that the band's songwriting is in a constant state of evolution. Sharks and Minnows has it's beginning in Atlanta in early 1999 when Christopher Simony and Chad Spangler, one-time high school classmates and long-time bandmates, recruited Daniel Heisel, another former classmate then toiling in a local punk band, to join their band. The band performed as a trio until 2003, when Christopher's brother Devin was added to the mix to flesh out the band's live sound, a task necessitated by the band's expanded sound on record. Long known as a band that writes great songs, Sharks and Minnows now can be considered a band that makes great records. With a pair of Two Sheds releases (the 2000 EP Julie et Cetera and the 2001 full-length Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board) under it's belt, the band bunkered down at Skylab Sound in Athens, Georgia in early 2003 with engineer Eric Friar to begin the process of recording it's next record. Long known as a prolific writing band, the band had a backlog cache of approximately 40 songs to work with when it began recording! The band's goal was clear - take as much time as necessary to make a great sounding record. To that end, the band made great use of acoustic guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and anything else laying around that would beef up the arrangements of the band's solid batch of songs. The band briefly toyed with the idea of a double album, but quickly decided against such pretension. Instead, the band culled 16 songs from the session for inclusion on The Cost of Living. The chosen tracks represented a natural progression from the indie pop stylings of Light as a Feather, while saving enough material for it's next record. With The Cost of Living, Sharks and Minnows has further shed itself of the limitations inherent in it's punk/emocore roots as it progresses more and more into more orchestrated areas of pop.