Sharkorama unveils an album that music lovers can sink their teeth into with his new release Wicked Machine — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Combining hyperliterate lyrics and loose, joyful instrumentation with an uncompromising DIY aesthetic, Sharkorama crafts earnest rock ’n’ roll for slackers. The solo vehicle of Chicago singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Cody Knauer, Sharkorama brings anything-goes energy and Midwestern swagger to a nostalgic sound that falls somewhere beneath the indie-rock umbrella.
Sharkorama began in Chicagoland basement with a Tascam four-track, a literal handful of microphones borrowed (permanently and without permission) from the high school AV club, and an unreasonably cheap laminate guitar named Charlenne. Dusty Casios, second-hand Strats, pawned drums, busted electric basses, and even the occasional marimba were folded into the freewheeling amalgamation. Playful lyrics delivered with urgency and honesty played center stage. In the ensuing years, the sound has been refined and the lyrics have matured, but the spirit has only been further embraced.
Wicked Machine, an album written, performed, and produced by the one-man act in his unfinished basement, is a joyous racket about looking backward while living in the moment, embracing flaws and regrets, questioning every authority, and hoping that growing older means growing wiser. The setting and approach to its production are clearly reflected. The record is loose and free but doesn’t waste time; it makes space for the occasional jam but doesn’t overindulge. Ranging from laid-back pop-folk to long-haired garage rock, Sharkorama seeks to elevate each track with twinkling guitars and clever, charismatic vocals.
With a sound unsubtly influenced by the guitar-driven pop/rock of the ’90s, Sharkorama sings songs about such frivolities as unrequited teenage love, first cars, and broken household appliances, but dabbles in honest introspection and themes of religious disillusionment, aging, and alcoholism. But even when the subject is serious, the songs never take themselves too seriously.