Marathon is Shark Tape’s full-length debut, following the 2012 releases of a pair of EPs and a single. It’s available for digital download as well as on multi-colored vinyl. The Philadelphia-based trio takes a big, 1980s-influenced approach with loads of commercial potential without sacrificing its integrity. There’s a lot of fun on this album as well; sounding at times like Supergrass has made a triumphant return to the land of the living.
Singer-bassist Stephen Lorek effectively conveys the well-crafted lyrics whether he’s confessing a secret crush or exuding brash showmanship. “Thank you all for playing, I hope you have a hell of a night,” Lorek sings over the driving beat of the satiric “Bronco.” On the shimmering techno song “Smell Of Sirens,” he warns, “Don’t lose yourself to the one you love tonight.” Shark Tape, which also includes guitarist-vocalist Niles Weiss and drummer Dylan Mulcahy, adds a touch of glam on the title track, and underscores the dance grooves of “River Runs Deep” with toe-tapping electronic percussion. Marathon gets a bit bogged down toward the end but the final three tracks also offer some of Shark Tape’s most ambitious vocal arrangements.