iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Egg by Shiner, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Egg

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

Shiner's The Egg is the sound of a band stretching itself between the opposite poles of melody and complexity, accessibility and nebulousness, and coming up with something entirely original and unheard of in the process. It's a concept album in the best sense of the word: It doesn't have a cheesy central theme per se, like disillusioned robots or mythical dragons, but it feels as if every song fits into one expansive puzzle, like the album already existed, just waiting for its creators to capture it on tape. Kansas City, MO's Shiner has long been at work in the underground rock trenches spreading the word of its angular, math-y post-rock. Since 1993, the band toured the nation tirelessly and put out three acclaimed full-lengths on independent labels, not to mention enduring several lineup changes. The Egg, however, feels like the album they have been waiting to make. For its fourth release, the group has finally solidified to include Allen Epley (vocals, guitar), Paul Malinowski (bass, backing vocals), Jason Gerken (drums), and Josh Newton (guitars, keyboards, noises). The members' talents mesh together so well, it seems impossible that this is their first complete album together. It doesn't hurt that indie super-producer J. Robbins climbed aboard either; his crisp, lucid sound creates a tug of war with Shiner's natural tendencies to go dark and murky. The constant ebb and flow between sonic radiance and shadow permeate the entire disc. The songs themselves bask in an epic splendor, replete with the kind of arrangements that reward repeat listenings. "The Truth About Cows" melds big rock verses with a minor chorus and Gerken's machine gun drumming, while "Surgery" juxtaposes Malinowski's trudging bass thump with swinging guitars and "bop-bop" backing vocals. "Play Dead" is a bouncing pop gem dressed in angular, distorted guitars and inventive, stop-start arrangements. After these three straight-ahead rockers, Shiner jumps off into the deep end with "The Top of the World," one-upping Radiohead in the process. This track serves as a total departure for the band, what with its Björk-esque lullaby chimes, subtle electronic beat, and quivering lead notes that dare the listener to guess whether the sound is a keyboard or a guitar effect. Part of the genius of this record lies in that trick: Often, the guitars and keyboard sounds are indistinguishable, but they always remain in service of the song, so the listener doesn't care. Shiner takes a page from Radiohead with the sonic experimentation on The Egg, but the band members surpass them in that they can bend those experiments into actual songs as opposed to toying with them until they lie limp and formless, à la Amnesiac or Kid A. Tracks like "The Egg" and "Bells and Whistles" build on this concept, combining inventive effects and atmospherics with songs that actually rock. Throughout, Epley's voice assumes a multitude of guises, from bruised and raspy croon to an ascending, downright pretty falsetto. Newest member Newton has proved himself indispensible; his inimitable guitar squawks and blips spice up songs like the discordant "Pills" and the apocalyptic "Spook the Herd." Everything comes together on the album's eight-minute magnum opus, "The Simple Truth." The song begins with a melancholy, downbeat air, punctuated by tightly syncopated, polyrhythmic drums and a lilting bassline but, midway through, it all melts away into an ethereal dreamscape. Epley continues to strum gently while ambient guitar and keyboard noises fade in and out like seagull cries lost in the wind. Malinowski gently nudges the rhythm forward, and finally Gerken breaks out into a skittering drum pattern, pushing the song to a crescendo, until it melts away, back into silence. The Egg may never receive widespread popularity or acclaim the way a Radiohead album might, but it stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities within the seemingly "tired" genre of good ol' rock & roll. This is the type of album you want to keep to yourself but share with everyone you know. As long as bands like Shiner continue to test the limits of themselves and their listeners on albums like The Egg, the people will keep coming.

Customer Reviews

Last and arguably best album

I had to write something for those browsing the old iTunes who have not had the experience of Shiner, having been a fan of this band for many a year. It always suprised me that Shiner never achieved greater popularity, but in my estimation it just goes to show that many good bands never make it big in the pop dominated scene of music these days. Shiner is a superb band for anyone who enjoys some good old fashioned late 90's underground style rock. Anyone who was a fan of Jawbox, Hum, or perhaps Pumpkins should find music that they enjoy on any one of their albums. At varying times I have changed my opinion on their best album, but ultimately they all stand out well in their own right. This is one of my favorite album's of all time, a testament to what might have been for a great band.

the only thing to say...

... is an emphatic "amen" to both the itunes review (which almost brings me to tears because it so adequately captures the praise this album deserves) and the other review that is posted here. it's better that this album didn't achieve popularity, because it would have had to be more generic and formulaic in order to do so. its idiosyncracy is what protects it from the hands of those who could never appreciate the album for what it really is. this album is the brightest shining star in the darkest night that is the sea of contemporary music (sorry i ripped you off inarritu).

pure genius

i listened to this album the first time, and put it away. I listened to it a second time, and it has been playing constantly ever since. I heard of these guys way back, but it took me a long time to get their stuff, and i am glad that I did. THis is pure genius. It would never get played on the radio, but to me that is the ultimate compliment one can give a record. It is pure art, and very deeply satisfying. Not for fans of teeny bop music.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed in 1992 in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri, Shiner originally included Allen Epley (guitar, vocals), Jeff Brown (drums), and Shawn Sherrill (bass). After Tim Dow replaced Brown, the band found itself sharing the stage with Season to Risk, Sunny Day Real Estate, the Jesus Lizard, and Girls Against Boys before the DeSoto label -- run by Jawbox, another touring partner -- released the band's debut single, "Brooks," in 1993. Their first album was Splay, issued on DeSoto in 1996. Season...
Full Bio
The Egg, Shiner
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

Influencers

Influenced by This Artist

Contemporaries