We Versus The Shark is a four piece group that gleefully plow together a huge variety of styles into a herky-jerky stew of post-punk music that blends math and dance and screams into a bizarre combination. Out of their four members, they have three different singers that sometimes sing by themselves and sometimes all together. After releasing a split with Maseratic and Cinemechanica, the group now strikes out on their own with this debut full-length of fast-paced, oft-changing tracks that will bend you into a pretzel if you try to dance along.
In some ways, We Versus The Shark is at least somewhat related to groups like Q And Not U with their spastic rhythms and vocals that range from sing to scream. The opening track of "You Don't Have To Kick It" is one of the most effective tracks on the entire disc as it rambles through several different speed changes and sonic sections that go from downright dancey to full-on thrash. "As Good As It Gets" comes right back with another solid number as the group seems to channel the late great Dismemberment Plan with sing-along vocals and odd song structure that fails to fall into convention.
When the group is hitting on all cylinders, they can crank out some seriously infectious tracks, as is evident by the grimey organ squeals, dual vocals, and pummeling rhythmic attack of "Slide," but the free-for-all approach sometimes is the downfall as well. After opening with a blistering drum-machine overdrive, "I Am Desitined For Greatness" attacks full throttle with guitars before sharding off into an almost emo mid-section with pained vocals and perfectly-timed heavy riffage. Considering that track comes after the almost pretty female vocal driven "Ten Uh Clock Heart Uh Tack" and before the disjointed "I Am At The Mercy Of An Ambulance Driver" (complete with shoutouts, quit spits of gurgling keyboards, and plenty of leftfield signature changes), there often doesn't seem to be much of a rhyme or reason in terms of track sequencing and flow. Because of that, Ruin Everything! often doesn't give the listener much to hang onto. Of course, given the title, that's perhaps part of the point as the group seems to try extra hard song after song to keep throwing a kinks into the general idea of how a song should progress (or what it should contain). I have to give them credit in keeping me off guard, but surprise doesn't always equal engagement.