Ottawa’s alt-rock four-piece band, Stoby, started the year with the release of Shark Girl Shark Shark.
The opening track, “Gibberish,” starts with a catchy guitar riff, prominent drum beat and heartfelt vocals. The song takes a relatable turn as it exposes the personas we often take on to please others.
The second track, “The Way and Waiting,” starts with a soft, off-mic, “you want a beer?” Replying loud and clear, a member of the band yells, “What percentage is this?”
On first listen, this seemed to have little significance but, accompanied by the rest of the lyrics, it’s a fun PSA. The lyrics express the ignorance of our actions and rudimentary understanding of consequences brought by climate change. Despite the heavy lyrics and grungy production, this track offers a dreamy quality reminiscent of early-2000s pop punk.
The third track, “In This,” starts slower than the first two but gradually gains tempo as the beat stays true to the constant high-energy of the album. The song depicts being there for your friends—or anyone, for that matter—during their time of need as shown by the lyrics, “Hey, we’re in this together…don’t you ever think that it’s any other way.”
Track six, “The Weather is Unfounded,” should be a staple for every gloomy Ottawa commute. It’s a warm song, best listened to when waiting out in the cold for the bus with no updates on its cancellation. The song showcases a lifestyle of cherry-picking truths that fit your life and the blissful ignorance of the unknown.
The song provides the perfect transition into track seven, “Succubus.” In ancient mythology, succubi are demons that transform into a female form in order to seduce men. The production of this track was a serious seduction-move. A rapidly changing beat full of confusion and fast-paced lyrics as the lead vocals go back and forth with the rest of the band. There is a lot happening in “Succubus,” where scenes of uncertainty play a prevalent role with undertones of hopelessness and despair.
Finally, “Billygoat” completes this album.
This sad song opens a dialogue about anxiety and the impossibility some people face in simply turning off. The vocals start soft and crescendo into chaos to serve as a reminder that our emotions can be difficult and unpredictable.
The album is a relapse to all the questionable relationships, even the one with yourself; and all the times broken pieces were used to make something whole. It holds an important and interesting story that will hit listeners hard.