Desert Sharks & A Very Special Episode- “DS+AVSE”

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Reviews

Desert Sharks and A Very Special Episode DS + AVSE


Split releases are a time honored way for bands that admire each other to team up, to the benefit of both them and fans. In this tradition comes the new split from Brooklyn groups Desert Sharks and A Very Special Episode, aka DS + AVSE. Rather than simply submitting two songs from their back pocket to include on the split, the two bands decided on the theme of the four classical elements and composed the tracks based on that. Desert Sharks tackled earth and water with “Deeper” and “Siren Song” while A Very Special Episode were tasked with air and fire in their contributions “Airwaves” and “Smolder.”


Desert Sharks get the split started off right, as “Deeper” kicks in right away with thick, throbbing bass. The song is a perfect slice of the dark grunge the band is known for and will have audiences moshing. The recording makes great use of panning, so listen on headphones if possible.



If you were a fan of Desert Sharks’ 2023 release The Tower (read our review) and especially the lead song “Medusa,” you’re going to want to pick up this split on the strength of this track alone. Luckily, the Sharks aren’t done with us, and “Siren Song” is even sludgier, leaning into haunting vocal harmonies intoning “I want to drown under the waves of your gaze.” Full Time Aesthetic premiered the fittingly spooky, chilly video here.


Flip the tape (metaphorically speaking if you’ve picked this up as a digital release, although the split is also available as a cassette) and A Very Special Episode comes roaring in with “Airwaves,” a punkier but no less gritty song that punches its way through three minutes of headbanging fun. For the finale, “Smolder” brings the tempo down and switches the time signature for a swaying, burning torch song with bruising dynamic changes and soaring vocals. 



Clocking in at only four songs long, this is short but sweet, as so many splits are, very satisfying for fans of both or either band, and a great introduction to them if you are unfamiliar. DS + AVSE is out on Substitute Scene Records on March 8th; you can find Desert Sharks on Bandcamp, Instagram and Spotify here and AVSE on Bandcamp, Instagram and Spotify here.



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