Review: Black Creek “Ragged Shark”









Black Creek
Ragged Shark

What’s with all the Americana coming out of the UK and Australia lately? Is it possible that the rest of the West is more in tune with American music than we are here at home? Maybe. After all, London’s own, Mumford and Sons did take home the AMA Award for New / Emerging Artist.

Hearkening back to the earlier days of Rock and Roll, with British Invasion acts like The Beatles, Kinks or Stones, it seems other English speaking countries have always had a new and innovative take on genres we so proudly consider our own. Black Creek is of the better examples of the new generation of artists to do just that.

Black Creek: Howdy from Australia

Hailing from the Land Down Under, Black Creek is the sort of band that reminds one of the full spectrum of American music and lends to the sense in using the term ‘Americana.’ Ragged Shark offers up everything from old school country, to straight up, in your face, guitar and piano charged Rhythm and Blues, so vast in style and influence, that it’s the rare case where it seems only fitting to come up with a blanket term for what one might opt simply to call, good music.

This solid debut leads off with the honky-tonk tinged, Jack White meets Jack Daniels, tongue-in-cheek title track,  where South Africa native, lead singer, Brent Wijnberg, cleverly expresses to whoever the song’s about,”If I catch a shark, I’m gonna send it back your way. And If it bites you in half I’m gonna thank god every day.” Of course, with tracks like the full amped, electrified “Cigarettes & Prayers,” and “Don’t Put Me on That Train,” Black Creek prove to be a band that isn’t afraid to get angsty, so long as the occasional Out Law rhythm appears along side the screaming and noise rock.

Tracks like the “Cocaine Blues” infused, “Lordy” and gentler, Strand of Oaks style, “Whispered Words” bring the Country front and center, but the scream filled, “The Mustang,” might remind one more of early Led Zeppelin or the louder moments of Band on The Run era Wings / Paul McCartney. Though Ragged Shark might get a little too high in decibels for purists, these guys are on to something. Then again, Black Creek never set out to make Americana music, they just ended up there.

“The band came about when a bunch of us were drunk in a bar, discussing how much we loved live music and how cool it would be to play in a band. The trouble was that none of us had any idea how to play an instrument. So we just chose one each and said we had one month till our first jam. Well, move along a few years and a few line-up changes and we end up as we are now,” said Wijnberg.

Lester Bangs once commented that  “Rock and Roll is an attitude, it’s not a musical form of a strict sort. It’s a way of doing things, of approaching things. It’s a way of living your life.”  In this regard, Black Creek is playing Rock and Roll. But, perhaps in the same vain, and seemingly unintentionally, their music helps better define exactly what Americana is.  Because if it ain’t all encompassing, why the hell not just call it Country?

Ragged Shark is a bad-ass album. Listen to it.

For more information on Black Creek, visit:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed with “The Hag Says” are that of Turnstyled, Junkpiled. We believe Merle can sum up anything in a few lines, so we’ve taken his quotes out of context to use as our rating system.




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