Wheel & Frame - Selachimorpha Review

With a release date of August 12th, Selachimorpha is surprisingly everything I've wanted for my Fall listening playlist. A 6-track EP full of every genre we're into right now - ambient math rock, indie-folk, experimental pop rock. 

If that isn't a mouthful, Selachimorpha is. According to the dictionary, Selachimorpha is "a superorder of cartilaginous fish that includes all sharks." The EP title is not a reflection of the content, a quiet collection of solitude, but more an addition to the beautiful noise that it offers. The EP was put together by a large collection of people, Wheel & Frame a project by NY singer/songwriter Steve Conzo. 

Of course, Steve enlisted some help to complete this EP, including Mike Burkowsky (Bass, Vocals), Allie Chipkin (Vocals), Steve Conzo (Vocals, Guitars, Bass), Eric Gerhardt (Keyboards, Synths, Vocals), Tom Martorano (Slide Guitars), Patt O'Brien (Drums, Vocals), John Tonelli (Vocals), and Devin Wojtanek (Guitars, Bass, Banjo, Vocals).

Once completed and written by Steve, the album was mostly recorded at the Chip Hill House in Queens, New York. Drums were recorded at Patt O'Brien's Apartment in Mahwah, New Jersey. Additional vocal recording done at the Goog Lagoon in Manhattan, New York. It was then produced, engineered, and mixed by Dev, and additional production handled by Eric and Mike, finally mastered by Matt Speno in Brooklyn, New York.

All of that hard work completed the 6-track compilation. And here at The Hook, we're in love.

Check out the track list below!

 Artwork by Michelle Serpico

Artwork by Michelle Serpico

Selachimorpha Tracklist:
1. World Martial Arts Tournament
2. Yeah, Whatever.
3. Flashcards
4. Beach House
5. Watercolors
6. Blindspots




Selachimorpha opens up with "World Material Arts Tournament" the perfect setting to enter in with. The track is a quick minute and change of ambient noise, and soothing vocal reverb. This track is the open hand in the dark, "Guess that means we're done, it's done."

"Yeah, Whatever." follows as the second track, another somber song, "Me, it's always me who tries to understand," a sort of tonal shift for Selachimorpha. Also, fun fact, longest track of the EP and also one of my favorites. The most important part of that song was definitely that hidden gem of a banjo around 2:30 - I'm a sucker for some incorporated banjo.

Check it out below!

Third track "Flashcards" definitely has more of a singer/songwriter aspect in it. With the dual male & female vocals, the song creates an ambience that feels sad but has an air of togetherness in it. "Beach House" follows, one of the tracks that Wheel & Frame shared early in anticipation of the album. "Beach House" also hosts a female vocal part, and fits nicely up against "Flashcards" as a sort of duo that share similar qualities. 

"Watercolors" feels more similar to the first two tracks, ambient and slow. These three tracks feel exceptionally dreamy in tone and lyric. While final track "Blindspots" shares qualities of every track on this album - really bringing out the singer/songwriter aspects that Wheel & Frame has developed in Selachimorpha, while also introducing different themes that I, and others, currently value in the underground scene right now. 

Selachimorpha is emotional music. That's easy to say. The lyricism in this is profoundly cathartic and deeply enthralled in matters of the heart. You can tell a great deal of care went into completing this collection of tracks. I appreciate Selachimorpha for just simply being. I am interested in seeing if this project will further itself, and what that will look like; maybe a more focused and concentrated effort in one genre, or tone?

The future is all that we can question, and the present all that we know. I'm here for Selachimoroha and it's exploration of what can happen if you're working in indie, alternative, folk, ambient noise rock. That's all I've got on this. I hope you take a listen, it's a quick EP, and a good one at that. For more on Wheel & Frame, check out their social media below!

Wheel & Frame: Facebook // Bandcamp