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Review: Shinys back with ‘Season of Poison’

Review: Shinys back with ‘Season of Poison’

Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:16 pm
By: AP


Associated Press Writer

Shiny Toy Guns, “Season of Poison” (Universal Motown Records)

It’s been a whirlwind journey for electro-rockers Shiny Toy Guns since they made their debut with the Grammy-nominated “We Are Pilots” two years ago.

The Los Angeles-based group, led by longtime collaborators Chad Petree and Jeremy Dawson, spent most of last year touring and solidifying their fanbase for their next offering. But the Shinys hit a major snag this year when they parted ways with Carah Faye Charnow, who split lead vocals with Petree on some of the group’s biggest hits, including the ubiquitous “Le Disko.”

Undaunted, the Shinys have forged on, enlisting singer Sisely Treasure to record “Season of Poison.”

Like their debut, the songs on “Season of Poison” display Petree and Dawson’s M.O. of mashing hard-rock, techno and pop sounds, although the end result is uneven and less satisfying than “We Are Pilots.”

Petree and Dawson produced the album themselves and suffused the tracks with a darker, heavier feel and peppered them various sound effects and other synth touches.

One example is “When Did This Storm Begin,” the first track, which opens with an angsty female voice screaming “I hate you.” From then on, the song careens between heavy guitar and layered synth sounds while Treasure raps and Petree carries the chorus. The performances are powerful and earnest, but the track feels disjointed and over the top.

Among the standout tracks is the excellent, catchy rocker “Money For That,” where Petree sings “I’d give you money for that/Is there some way I could go back?”

Another is the album’s first single, “Ricochet!,” a mean, dirty romp powered by heavy synths and Mikey Martin’s drumming. Here Treasure is the star, her voice rising as she slings the words: “Like a bullet, meant to be shot/You’re the target/Dead on the spot/When I focus, I never miss/It starts with a kiss.”

Treasure also delivers on the melodic “Frozen Oceans,” a mid-tempo, lush ballad.

Less satisfying are “Season of Love,” which pushes the boundaries of sugary overload even before Petree repeatedly sings “Love, love, love/Love, love, love,” and the ambitious, but ultimately overwrought “Poison.” The track exceeds eight minutes in length and is overstuffed with everything from rainfall sound effects and computerized voices to pipe organs.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “Blown Away,” a pounding rocker that features some of Petree’s most soaring vocals, starts off where “Poison” ends and then erupts as Petree sings “When revelation calls/And everything is blown away.”
Published in The Messenger 11.5.08

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