If the 90’s brought us nothing else, it was some excellent side-steps in rock music. As the decade progressed we saw the rise of grunge, stoner rock and the dishwater term “alternative rock”. In their latest EP, ‘Leave You In The Dark’, French quartet Shineski have managed to take some of the finer points of each of these motions and compile them into a familiar and enjoyable sound of their own.
Beginning with a punch, Shineski kick off with a riff and bass-break not unlike grunge/rock big boys, Bush (a similarity found throughout the record). The opening track, ‘Sorrows and Tears’, carries a distinct feeling of propulsion as the track kicks in and drops out a number of times all the while building to the open choruses of wordless shouts.
Title track, ‘Leave You in The Dark’, features the same crowd-style vocals and even bigger guitars. The raspy singing style sits easily on top of a clean-cut bass-line before exploding again into another huge chorus of “I will never ever ever leave you in the dark.”
‘Up The Wall’ is another mid-tempo anthem not unlike later Biffy Clyro material and ‘Time To Say Goodby’e features guitar work not unlike the crossover period between Kyuss and Queens of The Stone Age’s first record or Stone Temple Pilots. The track is faster than most on the EP and has an excellent breakdown, leading into a slow-mo guitar solo before kicking back into double tempo for a grand finale.
Closing the record, Shineski move even closer into QOTSA territory (ever heard ‘Burn The Witch?’) with a groovy, sludge stoner riff. ‘To The End’ is a great final track, pulling the listener’s head into nods and zombie dances as the group cuts halfway into one last extended breakdown and build-up, gradually increasing the tempo back to its former self and then moving way beyond into a jogging speed. One particularly good element of production in this track (and a spark of interest for the record as a whole) is during the final repetition as the vocals are stretched and crushed repeatedly as the band play over, slower and slower, as if going down with a ship until completely submerged; a nice touch and a great idea.
‘Leave You In The Dark’ isn’t the next best-selling record of the year, though I suspect it’s a bridging record for the group and allowing a look into what’s going on behind closed doors. The riffs are excellent, the attention to tempo and changes applied with it keeps the listener engaged and interested but there still seems to be something missing. The band feel together and play what they love, but it still seems to be a homage to an era of music that is in the past although in recent years (and especially last year) grunge and stoner rock have made something of a comeback, but it’s either been former stars of the genre or artists with something new on the table.
Shineski still haven’t quite found their own voice in a style they’re quite comfortable with. ‘Leave You In The Dark’ is a good record, the songs are good and if it’s an EP in support of a full-length record it will be interesting to see how the group develops further in the time. Until then, we have a collection of songs to play and enjoy whenever we want to enjoy a neat riff here or there, or nod along to a cool beat and there’s nothing wrong with that; not one bit.
Leave You in The Dark is out NOW via Tentacled Records.
Posted by Jake Murray.