"Season of Poison" (Universal Motown; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This band is from Shawnee, Oklahoma. File them under the Indie rock, new wave and progressive rock categories. Unless you watch a lot of television that deals with young people and their angst then you might not have heard about Shiny Toy Guns.

Their singer has a good voice and, with a backup female voice, there is a nice balance when they trade off duties. Some songs have a power edge to them and some are very pop sounding so the CD's flow is really uneven when you spin it initially. When the guitar riffs come blasting through you can feel the music and they stay right with it until it ends the song.

There is some electronica on a few tracks and, when Sisely Treasure sings, it makes me think of Missing Persons. Those songs are quite different sounding when you put them next to the rockers. This is the band's second CD so they still have a way to go and Im sure they will make it. If you like synth and piano then this disc might be for you.

The best songs: "When Did This Storm Begin," "Money For That," "Ghost Town," and "Ricochet!"

Shiny Toy Guns: Chad Petree vocals, guitar, and bass; Jeremy Dawson synthesizer and programming; Mikey Martin drums and percussion; Sisely Treasure vocals, bass, guitar, synthesizer.

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"We Are Pilots" (Universal; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the first major label disc from Shiny Toy Guns. Their first two releases were called Version 1 and 2 because they had similar songs but different artwork. The liner notes for "We Are Pilots" shows version 3.0 suggesting this is the third installment. The new wave sound really shines through on this album. It's got some weird stuff and fans of Gary Numan, Missing Persons and electronica dance music will find a soundtrack to groove along with.

This band was nominated for a Grammy award under the category for Best Electronic/Dance Album; they lost to The Chemical Brothers. I grew up in the 80s so this kind of music brings back memories but it doesn't make any new ones for me. The music has more substance than I used to hear in the clubs and the production is much better.

Each song has a good beat and with the element of a boy/girl vocal combo the songs explore a little more depth than a one voice singer could produce. Their music has been featured on "The Real World," "So You Think You Can Dance," "America's Next Top Model" and "Dancing With The Stars." They've been exposed by some popular television and that helps.

The best songs are "You Are The One," "Le Disko," "Don't Cry Out," "Rainy Monday," and "Jackie Will Save Me."

Shiny Toy Guns: Chad Petree lead vocals, guitar, and bass; Jeremy Dawson synthesizer and programming; Carah Faye Charnow lead vocals; Mikey Martin drums and percussion.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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