Monday, 22 October 2012
For optimal results as a 21st century artist you must compete on two fronts; Style and substance. Albums can not simply consist of a bunch of songs. Some bands/artists turn to gimmicks to sell their music (see Radiohead - In Rainbows) while others attempt to go viral with a music video (ahem, Gangnam Style). But for a scene inexplicably dominated with electronic music and more dance crazes than Ian Dury can shake his Rhythm Stick at how does a band such as Shiny Toy Guns expect to succeed?
Bursting on to the scene in 2002, their debut album 'We Are Pilots' didn't see light until 2006. Featuring delicous synths, guitar licks and the vocals shared by Chad Petree and Carah Faye Charnow, STG proved just how effective the electro rock clash could be.
The next album, Season Of Poison, came with a darker sound and a change in personnel for the band. Out went Carah and in came Sisely Treasure who took up vocal duties. Commercially the album garnered less interest than We Are Pilots and the band admitted 'Season Of Poison' as good as it was, was not a Shiny Toy Guns album.
Fast forward 4 years and the return of Carah and here we have 'III' the 3rd offering from the band, something of a masterpiece. Opening track 'Somewhere To Hide' oozes chique. It's STG back to what they do best. 'Waiting Alone' is equally fabulous and again features traded vocals from Chad and Carah. Incidentally I urge you to check out the video for this. The brilliant 'Carrie' promises to be a dancefloor favourite.
'III' isn't just a dance onslaught. STG show their subtle side with 'Wait For Me' and the beautiful 'Fading Listening'. 'E V A Y' is a haunting slice of pop brilliance. The album's stand out track 'Speaking Japanese' is mindblowing. Reminiscent of the track 'Le Disko' from their debut album, it has Carah announcing that she will arrive on a dragon and that is exactly what this song has achieved with it's massive synths and hook-laden chorus.
All in all this is a glorious return to form for the band, and a welcome alternative to the generic drivel currently on show in the charts. If it's style AND substance you want, then 'III' has that in abundance.