Self Released (2015, Reissue)
Thirteen years ago today, my wife and I started dating. Though I supposed it is possible I might have ended up stumbling across Shiner on my own, it's probably safe to say that the only reason I know about these guys are because they are my wife's favorite. It's a good thing too as it would be pretty annoying to have missed out on such a great band.
I will admit that I have not delved deeply into the band's entire catalog. I am mostly jumping in to each record as they get released on vinyl for the first time. I have spent many, many years with the Shiner album The Egg, so that is the main point of comparison I can use for Starless.
In many ways, Starless could be considered the superior album, at least from my point of view. I think that the songs are a little poppier in general. The pace is also a littler faster across the board. Both of these traits are the kinds of things I look for in a great album. There's not a bad song on the record and the way the band blends their deep guitar growl with melodic vocals floating over top is a trait kind of unique to them.
A lot of people compare Shiner to bands like Jawbox, and I certainly see that as a good starting point. Jawbox tends to sound a bit angrier than Shiner and I feel that Shiner is the kind of band that will take a few more chances with their songs. This leads to some interesting experimentation, but not going overboard to where this sounds like experimental music. This is rock, make no bones about it.
At the end of the day, I probably like The Egg a bit more. That has a lot to do with how much longer I've been listening to that album and some pretty fond memories attached to it. Starless is just as strong of a record and as I said earlier, even exceeds The Egg at times. Shiner is a sorely overlooked band that absolutely deserves more attention. I can only thank my wife for having such excellent taste in music and showing me the way.
Shiner - Starless: