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Shiner



Kansas City-based Shiner formed in the late '92 as Orchid when singer/guitar player Allen Epley and original bassist Shawn Sherrill started writing songs together in a Kansas City warehouse. Jeff Brown drummed for the band briefly before Tim Dow, late of local favorites Season to Risk, replaced him and the band became Shiner. The trio gigged extensively throughout the Midwest on the strength of their nine-song demo, soon reaching the ears of Desoto Records, who picked them up for a single in November of '94. Later that year, Hit It! Records released a split single with Kansas City's Molly McGuire. The tremendous response to these two seven-inches prompted DeSoto to release the band's first full-length, Splay in April '95. Shiner finished up '95 with a two-song single for Hit It!, which turned out to be Sherrill's final recording with the group.

New bassist Paul Malinowski, another Season to Risk alum, joined the band for their 1996 sophomore effort, Lula Divinia (on Hit It!). The next few years saw more nonstop touring and several more singles, the departure of Dow, and the arrival of new drummer Jason Gerken and second guitarist Josh Newton. After countless trials and tribulations, Shiner put out their third studio album, Starless, in 2000. While touring for the album, the band ran into their old friends from DeSoto, who offered to put out their next record, which turned out to be 2001's The Egg.

While Shiner's forceful, metal-tinged post-hardcore had won them legions of fans and a fair amount of critical acclaim over the course of their career, The Egg saw the band really ratchet their craft up to the next level. With the help of star producer J. Robbins, the quartet skillfully balances power-pop melodies with dark and murky electronic textures, making the The Egg one of the more successful indie records of recent years to dive headfirst into heavy sonic experimentation. This is not to suggest that The Egg is anything less than a great rock record. But it may be one of the first of a new breed of great rock records, which achieve many of the goals of the beleaguered "post-rock" movement without neglecting the so very essential "rock" element of the equation.