Shiner formed in 1992 and soon found themselves signed to DeSoto Records, (owned byJawbox’s Kim Coletta and Bill Barbot). The band began a creative high and a busy touringschedule that endured for years, with their final album in 2001The Egga critical success.Pitchforksaid, “Shiner’s six-string bloodletting beats the crap out of anything you’ll hear oncommercial FM these days” andAll Musicnoted, “The songs themselves bask in an epicsplendor, replete with the kind of arrangements thatreward repeat listenings” Along the waycountless tours of the US, Europe and Japan, and 4 full-length albums gave them a fiercelyloyal set of diehards. Comparisons with their contemporaries of HUM, Jawbox, Failure, andSwervedriver were unavoidable, butShiner carved a path of their own with a dedication to song-craft and musicianship wrapped in darkly sugared hooks.Shiner broke up in 2002 but 10-years later re-releasedThe Eggon vinyl and played sold-outshows in New York, LA, KC and Chicago. Those were some of their biggest shows ever andmany in the audience were new to the Shiner fanclub. In 2018 the 4 of them-drummer JasonGerken, bass player Paul Malinowski and guitarists Allen Epley and Josh Newton decided theywere not quite finished, there was another life for Shiner they could not ignore.After a few recording sessions that took place over a year and a half, the band have emergedwith 8 solid songs that make upSchadenfreude. The LP was self-produced, engineered, andmixed at Malinowski’ own Massive Sound studio in Shawnee, KS. “We’ve always beenextremely hands-on, even when working with someone else technically ‘producing,’” saysNewton, “withThe Eggwe ended up remixing and adding things to almost half the record on ourown.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 hisheavy right foot is tied to Malinowski’s distorted-symphony bass. Epley and Newton hew leftand right in the mix and worked in lockstep counterpoint throughout the proceedings and leaveroom for the vocals to enter the mix without overtaking, and instead working as a whole withinthe strings and skins.The songs onSchadenfreudeare not so much an answer toThe Eggas some properly timedfollow up might, but instead stand on their own. It’s the sound of a 4 piece band with each playerfinding his place in a book as though he just left the room an hour earlier and picked up on thenext paragraph upon return. Epley says, “a lot of themes on the album are pretty dark butalways with a silver lining around the edges. The title itself is a commentary on the mostcommon human trait of enjoying your rivals’ demise. Or your apparent enemies.”After their extended break from the studio and life on the road Shiner is once again lookingforward with the May 8 release ofSchadenfreudeand a North American tour planned for 2020.
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