Reunion Mania



Many argue for the creative supremacy of Seattle’s breakout grunge bands in the early to mid-1990s. For me, the most exciting part about the alt-rock boom was the license it gave bands throughout the country to deepen and darken rock’s palette in all sorts of interesting ways. Especially when it meant approximating the density of heavy metal: L.A.’s Failure, Champaign’s Hum and NYC’s Quicksand weren’t quite metal bands, but they all invested superior songs with an undeniable heaviness.

My favorite band by far to come out of rock’s mid-‘90s heavification was Kansas City’s Shiner, who over four increasingly complex albums carved out their own heavy sound-world. Shiner’s best and final album, 2001’s The Egg, still fucks me up every time I listen to it. It’s an album of cycles and textures and layers as much as instruments and voices. The Egg’s songs move forward in overlapping polyrhythms; its guitars strut, cast atmospheric spells and accumulate into massive riffing. Topping it all off is the spectacular baritone of Allen Epley, still one of rock’s most mysterious, commanding voices. No wonder he’s the guy Pelican chose to sing on their first ever tune with vocals, “Final Breath.”

Shiner broke up in 2003, its members eventually taking up shop in bands like The Life and Times, Open Hand, Every Time I Die, and The Damned Things. So why all this pole-smoking now, nearly ten years later? Because the band recently announced that it’s playing a short run of reunion dates in August to coincide with the first-ever vinyl release of The Egg, via Son of Man NYC. This is a godsend to those of us that never got to see them the first time around, especially considering that the entire lineup from The Egg era (Epley, bassist Paul Malinowski, guitarist Josh Newton and drummer Jason Gerken) will be in tow. I caught Gerken playing during the Molly McGuire reunion a couple months back and can confirm that he’s just as beastly as ever.

If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the four markets that Shiner is visiting, do not miss this reunion tour. And tell ‘em MetalSucks sent ya.

Reunion dates:

Sat August 11th @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY
Sat August 18th @ Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
Sat August 24th @ Granada, Lawrence, KS
Sat Aug 25th @ Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

Fans that purchase Shiner tickets from the various venues receive the option of a VIP package, which includes a copy of the new release.

Find out more about Shiner at the fan site


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