Shark Tape
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Shark Tape

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Shark Tape celebrate new album 'Marathon' at MilkBoy Philly"

By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
POSTED: November 22, 2014
Stephen Lorek, lead singer of Philadelphia rock trio Shark Tape, is holding the band's debut album, Marathon, in his hands.


"From this point on, I'm making a record every year," says the songwriter, bassist, and Fishtown resident. "No more lulls."

As Lorek sings on the fourth song of the propulsive, eminently catchy Marathon, it's been a "Long Time Coming." The band, which also includes guitarist Niles Weiss and drummer Dylan Mulcahy, celebrates the release of Marathon at MilkBoy Philly on Saturday.

Shark Tape began when Lorek, 27, was growing up in Bethesda, Md. He says he went straight from playing with Legos to writing songs with his cousin on a 4-track recorder when he was 11. He played in garage-rock and reggae bands with Mulcahy in high school. While on a Grateful Dead jam jag at St. Joseph's University - where he met Weiss - a friendship with the son of Phil Lesh led to a summer job as one of the opening acts on the Dead bassist's Phil Lesh & Friends tour.

That brush with rock stardom was brief, however. Back at St. Joe's, he heard the Replacements' song "Alex Chilton," which pulled him back from psychedelia to post-punk and power-pop rock. "Niles called me up and said, 'You have to hear this song,' " Lorek remembers. "From there, I got into the Clash, the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Beat Happening."

After college, Lorek studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute. That didn't lead to dramatic work, but it taught him how to apply method acting to channel emotion while playing music. A band called Bojibian, which also featured Weiss and Mulcahy, came and went. And an early Shark Tape gig in a Manayunk backyard in 2012 was going so poorly, as far as Lorek was concerned, that it might have turned out to be the band's last.

But one guy in the audience was paying attention. That turned out to be WXPN DJ and Shark Tape superfan Dan Reed. Soon "Eyes on You" was in rotation on the adult-alternative station.

But it hasn't been a quick and easy route from there to Marathon, Lorek says. He teaches guitar and drives a Lincoln town car for a chauffeur service, often transporting Sixers around town. "They're really tall, wear headphones, and they want to go to McDonald's a lot," he says. "And they tip really well." After various delays, the trio recorded the tight, sharp-edged Marathon with War on Drugs associate Jeff Zeigler in January. Then Weiss flew off to France to open a cafe with his girlfriend, and the band got set to break up.

Long story short, Weiss is now back in Philadelphia, and Shark Tape is back in business. This summer, they played a series of gigs backing up former Rave-Ups leader Jimmer Podrasky, and they hope to record an album with the Pittsburgh native, whom they'll back up at the Grape Room in Manayunk on Dec. 5. And they're ready to go full steam ahead with Marathon.

"I don't know if I'll know what these songs are about for a really long time," he says, looking down at the disc. "Just at a glance, I see a lot of 'runs': 'Marathon,' 'River Runs Deep,' 'Runway.' Man wants to gain control of his environment. I don't think anyone in this band has ever felt like that in his life. Truly had a grounded situation. It's about the frustration of trying to get there.

"I really hope this is the next chapter for us," Lorek goes on. "Because we are in it. There's no turning back now. From now on, I want to make a record every year. We've learned one thing: No matter what happens in your life, don't ever stop making records, don't stop showing up to rehearsal. Play music: That's it!" -

"Eyes On You- Shark Tape"

Shark Tape is my favorite local band of Philadelphia. Their breezy, harmonious, and well built pop beat out Good Old War for the Philly title with a scant four songs and fifteen minutes. So, the follow up to their catchy and polished self-titled EP, Shark Tape, is highly anticipated. The first EP songs slick pop homage summer favorites The Beach Boys, Matt and Kim, and Echo and the Bunnymen as well as alluding to the sound of rock staples U2 and Police. With a list of influences as well rounded and crowd-pleasing as that, Stephen Lorek, Niles Weiss, and Dylan Mulcahy had their work cut out for them. The new five song EP, Eyes on You, contains a mix of spot-on Replacements power-pop, Stones style honkey tonk, and a couple slower numbers reminiscent of The Cure and Oasis. In short, they delivered on the promises of Shark Tape EP with a couple of very pleasant surprises.

I was interested to hear where Shark Tape would go with the confident, slick, and upbeat “Ambitions of a Lifetime” and the buzzy, busy “Eyes of Mercy” of Shark Tape EP but, for the most part, Eyes On You ignores pure pop. Instead, Eyes on You still has echoes of 80’s bands that is so endearing but the band has moved on to gradually defining their own sound beyond the accessible, straight-forward pop of the first album. I’m still playing “Spot-The-Influence” throughout the album but it’s more difficult. Their diverse sound and confidence apparent in putting a couple slower songs on the EP show that the band is growing past their influences to craft a sound solely their own.

However, the band’s strength still lies in crafting smart, catchy, and poppy rockers. The one power-pop song on the EP, the title track, is better than anything else they’ve put out. The song’s bright acoustic and palm-muted electric guitars work in tight harmony as Lorek sings about summer days and lovers come and gone. The guitar solos are excellent and concise, the drumming is bold without getting in the way of Lorek or the guitars, and Lorek’s voice is dynamic but simple. Once again, Lorek’s emotive, controlled singing and lyrics are what propel the song. The band’s start-stop while Lorek sings, “My only hope is/ on the way out/ I can still laugh/ the same way / that I do now” drives home the bittersweet sunset of another relationship both lyrically and musically and is a highlight of the entire album. “Eyes On You” is unapologetic, heart-sleeve rock and roll reminiscent of the Replacements without feeling derivative. It’s just a lovely, heartfelt song that happens to remind me of equally lovely and heartfelt music.

Honky tonk guitars of “Change Your Mind” rev before the band accelerates into the fastest and one of the best songs in the repertoire. Despite being very different from the 80’s pop they are used to, “Change Your Mind” finds Shark Tape catchy and confident. Shark Tape’s even interjects a sense of humor with Lorek’s “I’m all right / you’re alright/ I’m okay” right as his patience for games is about to give up. While Lorek’s straight faced laugh doesn’t exactly measure up to Jagger’s sneer but the roiling guitar and Lorek’s increasingly frustrated pleas to a fickle girlfriend take their inspiration from the Stones at their most rowdy

“Best Behavior” is the last upbeat song of the album and is the weakest of the bunch. However, the plucked strings and clean guitar nicely compliment Lorek’s most diverse singing. Lorek splutters, coos, and soothes throughout, sounding at times like The Outfield’s Tony Lewis, Sting, or Robert Smith. It’s a great song and is the most “80’s” out of the entire album.

“Wandering Walls” and “Shadows Living Through Us” are Shark Tapes’ first downtempo songs. “Wandering Walls” is an echoing, moody piece in the style of The Outfield and fellow Philadelphians The Hooters. It also features Lorek’s best lyrics. The image of love as a rootless house that must be found, told to others, and continuously sought is striking. Lorek’s unease with a relationship and his subsequent realization that he doesn’t love the girl is met with a joyous end as he celebrates his freedom and newfound anticipation for true love sometime in the future. In the death of a relationship is eagerness to discover the “wandering walls” of love in another. Lorek’s lyrics express a complex idea simply and brilliantly. “When I say the truth / the world comes running back to me / Can you know / what you don’t love” illustrates the difficulty of finding love, recognizing it, and then keeping it. “Shadows Living Through Us” is part early Radiohead and part Oasis. Sparse and keening, the song peppers the despondent but melodious singing of Radiohead with an upbeat, catchy chorus. The acoustic-lead build up and chorus are great and the song’s mash up of two different styles is well-done but is not a standout track.

Eyes On You is an improvement on the excellent Shark Tape EP and is yet more essential summer listening from Shark Tape. The album’s diverse songs and confident genre experimenting show that Shark Tape is growing into their sound. The looming influences apparent on Shark Tape EP have become “shadows living through Shark Tape.” Their power-pop and 80’s roots are still strong but Shark Tape is now merely outlined by their progenitors instead of standing in their shadow. “Eyes on You” and “Wandering Walls” demonstrate that Shark Tape is still as strong, still as catchy, and still as smart as their influences without owing too much of their success to those who came before them.

Buy the EP at iTunes or It’ll be the best 6 dollars you spend all day! - Sunken Treasures


Shark Tape- Shark Tape (self titled EP)  2011
Shark Tape- Eyes on You EP 2012
Shark Tape- Marathon 2014



Shark Tape is a 3 piece rock band from Philadelphia. Stephen Lorek, Niles Weiss and Dylan Mulcahy have been active in the philly music scene since 2007 under various project names. 2012 saw the release of two EP's, the self titled "Shark Tape" and "Eyes On You" which gained considerable airplay in philly as well making WXPN's top songs of the year. Gathering sounds from several of rock's greatest eras, a Shark Tape song can sound both brand new and familiar at the same time. In late 2013, the guys teamed up with Philly engineer Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, War On Drugs) to begin production on what became the band's first full length record. That record is called "Marathon" and was released worldwide November 18.  

Band Members