The Summer of the Shark

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
When it was released in the spring of 2003, The Summer of the Shark marked Portastatic's first full-bore full-length studio endeavor in about five years, although a couple of EPs and a soundtrack had appeared in the interim. Mac McCaughan is still pretty synonymous with the "band" that is Portastatic, writing all the songs, handling the lead vocals, and playing many of the musical parts, with help from about half a dozen friends. It's accomplished, varied, and rather easygoing, though not gripping, indie pop
ock, with the sort of combination of the whimsical and the relatively conventional pop structures that characterizes so much ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
When it was released in the spring of 2003, The Summer of the Shark marked Portastatic's first full-bore full-length studio endeavor in about five years, although a couple of EPs and a soundtrack had appeared in the interim. Mac McCaughan is still pretty synonymous with the "band" that is Portastatic, writing all the songs, handling the lead vocals, and playing many of the musical parts, with help from about half a dozen friends. It's accomplished, varied, and rather easygoing, though not gripping, indie pop
ock, with the sort of combination of the whimsical and the relatively conventional pop structures that characterizes so much Chapel Hill indie rock of the 1990s and 2000s. It's often hard to suss the worldview of a songwriter who comes up with lines like "we sit around with alligator clips on our eyes and it's a right spectacular view." But currents of mild disorientation, miscommunication, and vague dissatisfaction with urban stress surface, as do some mildly experimental electronic textures in the ominous instrumental "Through a Rainy Lens." The more accessible, straightforward guitar tunes, like "Chesapeake," are actually less interesting than the tracks in which the song strives for something more oddball, like "Swimming Through Tires," with its elementary piano chords anchoring mournful brass and unclassifiable clangs. In a poppier mode, "Hey Salty" is a highlight, giving McCaughan's high thin voice and cheerful romantic melodic bent a chance to shine at their brightest.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2003
  • Label: Merge Records
  • UPC: 036172952526
  • Catalog Number: 29525

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Oh Come Down (5:27)
  2. 2 In the Lines (3:25)
  3. 3 Windy Village (2:59)
  4. 4 Through a Rainy Lens (3:44)
  5. 5 Don't Disappear (4:49)
  6. 6 Swimming Through Tires (4:19)
  7. 7 Chesapeake (3:00)
  8. 8 Noisy Night (4:39)
  9. 9 Clay Cakes (4:21)
  10. 10 Drill Me (3:33)
  11. 11 Paratrooper (4:45)
  12. 12 Hey Salty (4:57)
  13. 13 [Untitled Hidden Track] (0:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Portastatic Primary Artist
John Plymale Trombone
Mac McCaughan Vocals, Track Performer
Tony Crow Piano
Janet Weiss Vocals
Aaron Oliva Bass
Margaret White Violin, Viola
Phil Morrison Hand Clapping
Matt McCaughan Drums, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Georgia Hubley Paintings
Mac McCaughan Cover Painting
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