Monday, December 30, 2013
Shiner The Egg DeSoto/Son Of Man 2012 (Repress)
People love this album and swear by it. However, when it came out in 2001, I could have gave a shit less. 1996, I thought Splay was one of the greatest things I had ever heard. High school age boys love angry rock music and that fit the bill. I remember being excited to get my hands on their follow-up, Lula Divinia which was released in 1997. However, the glow of Splay started to wear off quickly. The songs become incredibly long and pretentious, shoegazer moments mixed in with odd time signatures and even stranger song structures. There was nothing immediate on Lula Divinia so you couldn't get sucked into all it. By 2000 when Starless came out, I really didn't care anymore. I believe I picked up Starless cheap in a used bin and was even more turned off by it than I was by Lula.
I had completely moved on and forgot about Shiner when The Egg came out in 2001. I never even picked up. Then, several years ago I became obsessed with collecting all the locals I once listened to in the 90's on vinyl. Since then, I've been searching feverishly for a copy of Splay. I still haven't found it, but last year while searching the internet for it, I discovered that Son of Man did a limited vinyl pressing of The Egg for the band's reunion tour. At this point in my local vinyl obsession, I wasn't just trying to collect favorites, I was just obsessed with finding any local artist on vinyl, so I needed this.
Not knowing too much about The Egg, I read up on it pre-purchase. Damn, if it isn't widely considered the band's masterpiece. Anxious and worried that the hype was going to ruin this LP for me, I was pleased upon the first listen. Everything is so crisp and perfect on the album, there are moments that are immediate on it, namely the song "Top of the World," which could easily be mistaken for a Sunny Day Real Estate tune or a Radiohead tune, depending on which aspect you focus on. But, even at first listen, you sense the band's direction on the LP, there's a definite groove and feel surrounding all the songs.
For the last year or so, I've spun this more than most albums I own. Every time you put it on, you pick up something new, a nifty guitar riff buried in the background, a reprise to a previous song, a shift you didn't fully grasp the previous spin. The band had clearly figured it out on this album. Inevitably, it's still very pretentious with all it's shifts in song structure, but they found a way to make it more accessible. They focused their efforts on creating a whole LP and experimenting throughout its entirety rather than trying to cram every good idea they had into a single song. It's an amazing album, complex, and more rewarding after every listen. If more people would have been listening to it when it was released, it would have reinvented and reinvigorated the then played out angular post-hardcore scene.
Truth About Cows
Top Of the World