It's Hard to Not Mean Anything
Sharks and Seals is Joe Tricoli (Friend/Enemy, the Bimbobs), Todd Mattei (Joan of Arc, Friend/Enemy), Dave Osborn (Consafos, Belfrie), and Alance Ward (Consafos, Belfrie). Also, at least for the time being, Sharks and Seals is joined on stage by the talented keyboardist Gary James (Shelly Short). Tricoli and Mattei started the band as a completely recreational project, recording improvised pieces to a hard drive. Soon they realized that the music deserved to be taken more seriously. With the help of some of their musician friends, The new and second Sharks and Seals record, It's Hard to not Mean Anything, The new full-band lineup found Sharks and Seals writing songs in a more straightforward way. Without losing the improvised edge that Sharks and Seals was inspired by originally, the songs became solid entities that could be strongly transmitted live. Happy with this newfound live strength, the band recorded most of the material for the second record live to tape with friend Nate Kinsella (Make Believe, Joan of Arc). The result is that It's Hard Not to Mean Anything is a more formally cohesive record---a bands record. The web of Matteis effects-driven electric guitar and Tricolis airy acoustic guitar remains up front most of the time, with Osborns bubbling bass and Wards rockity drums keeping everything in motion. Again, Sharks and Seals recruited the help of notable locals like Azita Youseffi (Scissor Girls, Azita), Tiffany Kowolski, (Lullaby For The Working Class, Shelly Short, Bright Eye's...etc...etc), and Nate Kinsella (Make Believe, JOA). The record accentuates the pop and rock elements of the music more than ever, without getting rid of the crucial demands of spontaneity. Folding and wrinkling elements of digitalis add color while Tricolis distinct vocals and story-telling bring the whole thing into focus.