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A few words with Social D opener Sharks

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It's tough opening for Social Distortion. While the potential for exposure is fantastic, rabid Social D fans rarely pay much respect to opening acts — unless they really deliver the goods. The guys in English punk quartet Sharks, currently on a month-long tour with Social D that includes an Indianapolis stop tonight at the Egyptian Room, have their work cut out for them.

But they're in good stead: The band, which brings to mind best parts of The Replacements, The Clash and Jawbreaker, mixed with a subtle reminder of The Gaslight Anthem, is stirring up quite a lot of buzz. Kerrang! magazine, known for finding and championing up-and-coming rock acts, praised the band’s sound as being “a revelation from start to finish.”

“We haven’t done out first show yet,” lead singer and chief songwriter James Mattock told NUVO recently, “but people seem positive and generally excited that we’re touring together which is encouraging.”

The mere fact that Sharks is on tour with Social D is vindication enough for Mattock. “It makes me feel that what we’re doing is right if we’re touring with such amazing artists. We’re about to tour with one of my all-time favorites, so I’m looking at it as a total blessing and a huge personal achievement.”

This personal achievement comes on the heels of the bands first major release, The Joys of Living, a compilation of rare and out-of-print 7-inches and EPs. Though Joys wasn’t released in the States until last month, the band is already planning its next move.

“We’ve been working on the full-length for so long it seems,” Mattock said. “Releasing that compilation was never our initial intention but it has done great things for us in terms of awareness.”

The fanfare surrounding the release of Joys has also encouraged band members to get to work on a new record, which they are currently writing and demoing, with plans to book studio time after their summer stints with Social Distortion and on the Warped Tour.

“In the past year things have started to take shape.” Mattock stated. “There is a lot of positive buzz and that buzz has arisen by doing exactly what we’ve always done but I guess we’re just getting better. The pressure is there but it’s nothing worth wallowing in.”

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