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Friday, September 22, 2023

Even with rough spots, 'Seasons' is still 'Shiny'

Shiny Toy Guns came roaring onto the alternative music scene with their 2007 Grammy nominated electronic hit We Are Pilots. Since their debut in 2006, Shiny have switched personnel and hibernated in Alaska to write their second album, Season of Poison


Lead songwriters Chad Petree and Jeremy Dawson were the brains behind the successful debut album, but many fans felt that female vocalist Carah Faye Charnow had a great influence on the band's sound. However, the switch from Faye Charnow to Sisely Treasure didn't compromise the band's unique sound, as Petree and Dawson once again wrote the entire album. 


Their first single, Ricochet,"" is reminiscent of 2006's ""Le Disko"" with its percussion and synthesizer riffs. The exchange of vocals between Petree and Treasure creates an intense, industrial feeling that the writing duo are more known for. The harder, darker side of Shiny is blended well with various sound effects and background vocals. 


Leading off Season of Poison is ""When Did This Storm Begin,"" which showcases harsh rapping by Treasure and Petree's full voice during the chorus, a progression used many times throughout the album. The exemplary lyricism of STG shines through with lines such as ""Every night you drink the money left to pay all the bills"" which our generation can certainly relate to. 


Other notable songs include ""Money for That,"" giving Petree center stage and allowing him to take control of the song, displaying his talent as a vocalist. The mellow second track uses his dynamic range to go quickly from two-part harmony to yelling and back again singing ""I'd give you money for that / Is there some way I could go back?"" Shiny bounces back in time on ""It Became a Lie On You."" The best of the '80s graces us with a talk box introduction followed by piano riffs (reminiscent of The Verve) and soaring vocals. 


Shiny swings and misses with the ""title"" track ""Poison."" This eight minute epic lacks enough interesting interludes and bridges to keep the listener engaged. Ambient synth and various sound effects make up the entire second half of the song, which leads one to wonder why it was included at all. Just before that, ""Season of Love"" is a clear example of writers block from the start. If borrowing the name from a song from ""Rent"" wasn't enough, the repeated line of ""Love, love, love, love"" makes the listener almost welcome ""Poison."" 


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Making up for the disappointment, Shiny transitions smoothly into ""Blown Away"" with the line ""When revelation calls / And everything is blown away."" Rounding out Season in spectacular fashion are the tracks ""Turned to Real Life"" and ""Frozen Oceans."" The final trio of songs wraps up Season of Poison in a way that rivals We Are Pilots


Despite the misses mid-album, Season of Poison starts and finishes strong and gives fans more to dance to while they wait two years for the next album to come out - or at least until the band's next concert. 

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