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.