The White Shark

What is this feller thinking?

Muggy Bog - Nuf Sed 1994.
Rating = 8

The White Shark is a euphemism for "Mark Davies," one of the many singer/songwriter/guitarists from San Franciscan underground musical stars The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Shockingly, this 10-inch EP sounds astonishingly like 1/5th of a Thinking Fellers album. The great, intriguing, bizarre songwriting is in full force, just without the wildass guitar interplay. It starts with a couple of quirky, surprisingly almost semi-normal lo-fi-ish guitar rock sorts of things and then dives straight into the weirdness, with murky production, dark slow moods and strange keyboard sounds creating the impression that songs like "Love Is A Stranger" were recorded underwater in a special little Mermaid village of recording engineers.

Funny story: I received this record from the owner of the record label, a sardonic young man by the name of Brandan Kearney. When he gave it to me (backstage at a Neil Hamburger concerto), I was a bit rip-tipsy. So all night, I kept forgetting that I had the record, then suddenly noticing it in my hand and announcing, "I can't believe you guys thought of me! Wow! That was so nice of you!" In fact, I did it so many times that I became involved in a heated argument with my fiancee in the cab ride home, with her arguing that I was too open with my insecurities.

Actually now that I look back at it, it's not a very funny story at all. It's more sad than anything else. I'm kind of a loser deep inside.

But this record isn't! It's a winner through and through! If you're a Thinking Fellers fan or just want to enjoy some odd musical vibes that merge weirdness, creativity, aural beauty and creepiness in one tiny weird package, grab Muggy Bog and jam it up your cASSette deck. A couple of tunes get so mired in slowness that the whole concept of melody is tossed down the dumbwaiter, but most of the songs are every bit as singalongable as they are uncommercial. Keep on breathing through your blowhole, The White Shark!

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