Tyvek, Fred Thomas.


Fred Thomas.

Shark Toys

Sat · February 11, 2017

8:00 pm

$7.00 - $10.00

This event is all ages

As Detroit continues its seemingly irreversible slide into the tar pits of economical despair, new traditionalists Tyvek have unashamedly taken the reins and harnessed the ambition to keep their slurred and manically refreshing noise pop bouncing around the skulls of everyone still breathing in the real, uncategorizible fumes of the original new wave. With an already impressive trail of essential releases left behind them, including last year's debut album and an infinitesimal stream of "tour-only" CDRs, the band seems to always be evolving, yet never straying far from the original cacophony that earned them a spot in the hallowed halls of modern punk's elite erratics.

And as dynamically diverse as Tyvek's recordings have become, their live set also seems to shift dramatically with each new appearance, ranging from a monstrous five piece to the currently stripped-down three-piece that easily gets the job done without sacrificing any of the intensity or brazen brevity that's earned them their fanatical following. With relentless touring, razor-esque songwriting and the ability to adapt to their surroundings without resistance, it's no wonder why they're so adept at captivating the off-center sounds of bygone-era DIY scrapings and spinning it into gold, all without ever really showing any influence of the Detroit "sound" that's known the world over. This trait alone deserves massive respect and forges their creativity in a unique light, as pioneers and as individuals who set forth to create their own thing in their own time, and in essence, are clearly executing some of the most exciting sounds in underground music today.
Fred Thomas.
Fred Thomas.
Following the release of his critically-lauded 2015 album All Are Saved, songwriter/producer Fred Thomas entered a period of enormous transition. He gave notice at the writing job that had offered stability for years, got married and moved to Canada, all between multiple tours that ran the spectrum from sold out opening slots to sleeping in the car after empty gigs. At the end of yet another tour he returned to Athens, Georgia, to again work with producer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Mothers, many more) on an album aiming to encapsulate the nonstop changes that had sprung out of this phase of his life. Naturally, this record is named Changer.

The unflinchingly direct lyrical approach that defined All Are Saved continues here, with themes of uncertainty and struggle coming up over and over. A working title for the record was “Hope I’m Funny,” a reference to the opening line of an especially bleak Richard Pryor routine. The comedian found himself confused at the audience’s applause before he’s even uttered a word, certain he was going to disappoint them and feeling a little set up, but still hoping for the best.

That sense of floating between dread and promise runs through the album, present in the drunk-dial desperation of live favorite “Brickwall” as much as the chopped up harp samples that propel the electronics-heavy “Echolocation.” The production here is some of the densest in Fred’s catalog, with straightforward guitar pop burners like “Voiceover” melting into synth-heavy instrumental segments like the glistening, Boards of Canada indebted “Oval Beach.” That these moments of textural ambience make sense alongside stripped-down guitar pop speaks to the overall flow and vision of the album, which was meticulously edited from an hour long first draft to the lean 33 minute final product.

Taken from start to finish, Changer slowly tells a story that is more felt than explicitly narrated. Rather than insisting on finding an answer or some greater meaning in the shifting nature of lives in motion, these songs simply offer vivid snapshots and strange scenes. Even in its darkest moments, however, there’s an underlying sense of hope, that every mundane laundromat trip, every bummer night, every empty gig, hours logged at pointless summer jobs, or even the pain of tragedy could be for something bigger and lead to the next beautiful change.
Shark Toys
What people have to say about Shark Toys debut LP on Dead Beat:

"This is one bug-eyed full-length, with an overabundance of both anxiety and energy captured by engineer Monty Buckles of the Lamps, and across nine songs it never takes a rest—across the first eight songs, it never even slows down. Instead it's scribble-scribble guitar, boom-boom-boom drums and big sizzling smears of keyboard, and then varying degrees of composure and unhingement from singer (and L.A. RECORD contributor) Danny Clodfelter. Billy Childish if his mind was unwound by Hardcore Devo instead of Kinda Kinks? Well, not completely, but when you hear the keys burn through the song "Library" like a cigarette against a strip of film, you WILL suddenly see a miniature Mark Mothersbaugh doing that "This Moog is electrocuting me!" dance right before your eyes. Otherwise a lotta Urinals in this, lotta Swell Maps, some of the Modern Lovers demos—"She Cracked" with the radio static and the Kim Fowley production credit, if we wanna be accurate—and a lot of the caveman-savant philosophy that lights up Wounded Lion and probably every band Chris Woodhouse produces. "Victorian House" and "Library" are my winners, punk songs smashed to pieces and reassembled with the landing gear pointing in the wrong direction, but there's a song here for anybody who likes DDT for breakfast—and anybody who likes to wing it." - LA RECORD
"Shark Toys have crafted a sound that could be a direct line to the quirkiness of early L.A. weirdos like the Urinals, but their catchy, off-kilter song-writing, zipping toy keyboards and wild guitars could easily be the result of big-city kids having an early exposure to the skronky and unhinged Coachwhips or the wackiness of the New Zealand punks that solidified the Flying Nun scene. Fun as all get-out, their self-titled LP (recorded and mixed by Monty Buckles of The Lamps) is a clanging, rock and roll romp you shouldn't miss." - UNPIANO

"It reminds me of The Fall, Tyvek, G.Green and Parquet Courts, but some how beachier and more Californian, which is appropriate considering these blokes are from sunny LA." - LO-PIE

"...Th[e] sound Shark Toys invokes is a lot like what one would expect to come-about if The Clean and Swell Maps had a lovechild, abandoned it in LA, and thereby led it to grow up, mature, and fend for itself amidst the palm trees and parking tickets all the while snacking on cheap tasty burritos." - PROPER YARN
Venue Information:
The Hi Hat
5043 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90042