*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Earshot Media*
|Seminal Midwestern Indie Rock Band SHINER Joins The Spartan Records Roster|
Label To Re-Release Band’s Catalog on Vinyl, including the Newly Remastered Debut LP SPLAY with New Artwork
|Seminal midwestern indie rock outfit Shiner, contemporaries of bands like HUM, Jawbox, Failure and Swervedriver, has joined the Spartan Records roster. The label will be re-releasing the band’s catalog on vinyl, including the newly remastered 1996 debut album SPLAY (which was recorded at Steve Albini’s studio) with new artwork.|
The group formed in 1992 and quickly connected with music fans, touring with bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Chore, Jawbox, Season to Risk, The Jesus Lizard and Girls Against Boys. After an extended hiatus, the band reformed playing select shows each year since 2012. In 2020, the band released its latest album ‘Schadenfreude’ to critical acclaim.
Singer/guitarist Allen Epley says, “Pairing with Spartan Records is akin to a dream come true for Shiner since we’ve been back at it after our 20 year hiatus. It’s a perfect home for us and we’re beyond psyched to make brand new music in addition to releasing our entire catalog, (including Schadenfreude) and a new release of rarities and lost gems that will be coming soon.
Shiner is a band that has always played to our strengths and this is no different, because Spartan understands where we’re at as a band, our influence on younger bands and our potential as a band making new music that excites us and our fans. We feel like kids again and couldn’t be more stoked to keep doing the things that have given us this extended adolescence.”
Spartan Records owner John T. Frazier says, “The “full circle” moments that I’ve experienced running this label are what make it all worthwhile. I can still recall playing Shiner’s “Brooks” 7” on my college radio show in the mid-90’s like it was yesterday, so to be able to work with a band that has been so transformative in my life this many years later is just a dream come true — a real “pinch yourself” moment.”
• Wach a teaser trailer here:
What others have said about Shiner:
“This Kansas City, MO band’s fifth album (and first in 19 years) is a potent set of heavy post-hardcore combining grungy guitars and muscular rhythms with melodic vocals and often-dark lyrics.” – KEXP
“Schadenfreude echoes Shiner’s classics while also fitting right in with today’s post-hardcore scene. It’s got everything you want from this band — big riffs, good hooks, a hard-hitting rhythm section, and pillowy atmosphere — and Shiner make it sound like a day hasn’t gone by since 2001.” – Brooklyn Vegan“
[“Paul P Pogh” finds [Shiner] in fine form, and it sounds as fresh today as plenty of the newer bands who take after Shiner’s sound.”- Brooklynvegan
“The new album brims with life, even as its lyrics explore some pretty dark subjects. It’s heavy (though not metal) and heady too, truly living up to the tag of “space rock.” Honestly, this album has some of the best lyrical hooks on it. After a few spins, you’ll be humming and singing along to all of the songs on the album.”- New Noise Magazine
“[Shiner’s] legacy is improved with this new offering. Quite an unsung hero of the 90s, it’s great to see this band have more in the tank.”- New Fury Media
“Life As A Mannequin” was a spaced-out slow churn, like Queens Of The Stone Age or Soundgarden run through the Hum filter. The new “Paul P Pogh” is a faster, harder spin on the same melodic hard rock sound.”- Stereogum
“Life As A Mannequin has, from the onset, a full framed big heavy rock sound. Massive walls of guitars and heavy handed drum downbeats. When the chunky sounds get quiet and the vocals, full of dreamy melodies supported by rock orchestrations, but also a definite art rock tone with lovely descending progs, I thought of a kind of blend of Soundgarden and Queens Of The Stone Age. I love bands that can create dreamy heaviness. It is much needed in today’s musical landscape. Welcome back boys.”- American Pancake
In 2018 the 4 members of Kansas City’s Shiner made some phone calls. They caught up on their current lives — families and careers — and they also reminisced about 2012 when they re-released their acclaimed album ‘The Egg’ on vinyl and played sold-out shows in New York, LA, KC and Chicago. Those were some of their biggest shows ever and many in the audience were new to the Shiner fanclub, having never seen the band years earlier. Soon enough the 4 of them – drummer Jason Gerken, bass player Paul Malinowski and guitarists Allen Epley and Josh Newton decided they were not quite finished, there was another life for Shiner they could not ignore.
Soon after, Shiner gathered together at Matt Talbot’s (Hum) Earth Analog studio in Tolono, IL to write in a lab setting, working out ideas they’d been emailing back and forth. After a few sessions that took place over a year and a half, they sifted through the detritus and have emerged with 8 solid songs that make up the new album, ‘Schadenfreude.’ The LP was self-produced, engineered and mixed at Malinowski’s own Massive Sound studio in Shawnee, KS. Newton notes, “Ultimately, I think it worked in our favor. We were able to walk away from things for a bit and see if the songs were heading where they should. We’ve always been extremely hands-on, even when working with someone else technically ‘producing,’” he continues, “with our last record (The Egg), we ended up remixing and adding things to almost half the record on our own. At this stage in our existence, we know what we should sound like.”
Despite the hiatus, Shiner have not missed a beat. Gerken is still a drummer’s drummer and his heavy right foot is tied to Malinowski’s distorted-symphony bass. Epley and Newton hew left and right in the mix and worked in lockstep counterpoint throughout the proceedings and leave room for the vocals to enter the mix without overtaking and instead working as a whole within the strings and skins.
The songs on ‘Schadenfreude’ are not so much an answer to ‘The Egg’ as some properly timed follow up might, but instead stand on their own after 15-year hiatus. It’s the sound of a 4 piece band with each player finding his place in a book as though he just left the room an hour earlier and picked up on the next paragraph upon return. Speaking of the lyrics, Newton says, “a lot of themes on the album are pretty dark but always with a silver lining around the edges. The title itself is a commentary on the most common human trait of enjoying your rivals’ demise. Or your apparent enemies.” The album’s “For In The End” is Shiner’s version of the world-is-ending “life is so hard, we all die alone, but I’ve got you and that makes all the difference.” The first single “Life As A Mannequin” pushes the narrative of ending your suffering by giving into your worst tendencies that are bad for you, but at the same time, feel so good. “Genuflect” examines dysfunctional relationships and the reasons people enter and stay in them.”
More about Shiner:
Shiner formed in 1992 with Tim Dow as the original drummer. They released their first EP the following year and found themselves signed to DeSoto Records, (owned by Jawbox’s Kim Coletta and Bill Barbot). With the addition of Paul Malinowski on bass, Jason Gerken on drums and Josh Newton on guitar and noises, the band began a creative high and a busy touring schedule for years, with their final album in 2001 ‘The Egg’ a critical success. Along the way, countless tours of the US, Europe and Japan and 4 full-length albums gave them a fiercely loyal set of diehards. Comparisons with their contemporaries of HUM, Jawbox, Failure and Swervedriver are unavoidable, but Shiner carved a path of their own with a dedication to song-craft and musicianship while often wrapped in darkly sugared hooks. Shiner broke up in 2002, but not before a very special farewell show at the Madrid Theater in KC in front of a couple of thousand friends.