Shiner was a very special group. Their sound palette had a variety of colors and inten-
sities like no other group of their generation. They linked a work ethic (learned from
Jawbox and Fugazi) to a way of understanding the composition and musical interpreta-
tion that transcended post-hardcore. It was very rare (a unique case?) That a band
could sound like My Bloody Valentine and then like Jawbox, then like Chavez or Helmet.
They not only killed themselves everyday touring in a van but burned hours in the
rehearsal room and had more effect pedals than anybody. They were more math rock
than anyone else. But what?s more important - they had songs. Shiner wrote memo-
rable songs. It's easy to try and be Radiohead, but writing songs like "The Simple Truth"
is a lot more complicated.
While writing these lines I happily put on the record that BCore have reissued, "The
Egg", and I once again faced the albums songs. It?s many the times I still get goose
bumps, and I don?t think it?s not due to a feeling of nostalgia (in fact age often makes
the things I liked before less likable). The contagious riff in "Andalusia", the epic "Bells
and Whistles", the roller coaster of emotions of "The Simple Truth" (it looks like a song
by Unwound?s "Leaves Turn Inside You", one of the only albums I could ever compare
"The Egg"), the rock feeling of "Pills", the rhythmic game in "The Truth About Cows", "The
Egg" and how tension is transformed into catharsis?
"The Egg" - released in November 2001 - was the group's fourth and final album, its
creative peak and one of the most ambitious albums produced by J Robbins, whose
creative participation goes beyond the mere production of the album. Not only because
it is a perfectly balanced piece of work at a compositional level that makes us travel
thanks to its production, but because it is a record, not just a simple collection of
songs. Each element has its own entity and at the same time plays a role in the set.
Experimentation and accessible melodies. Darkness and rhythmic play. Ambitious and
immediate rock. Visceral and brainy. On paper it seems difficult to blend influences like
MBV, Helmet or Jawbox, but the Shiner of "The Egg" were in full blast and went straight
for it. And they won.
Text by Manel Peña