Album Review: Shiners – Now (NMF Ep. 63 Winners)

It can be difficult to categorize indie rock with any finer granularities. Honestly, Shiners are a really enjoyable indie rock band in the most general sense. The guitars and vocals are great, which keeps us coming back for more. There’s no easy comparative band because they have a nice, optimistic, hook-heavy sound that is all their own. It’s worth checking out for sure.

“Generation Y” gets the album started with a ton of good energy. It’s actually a sad song about being a generation that gets dumped on from others, but honestly the song has a really good feel to it. There’s a “let’s sing this together” sentiment that I really enjoy. It has enough punk to be angsty and enough pop to be fun.

“I Love the Girl” reminds me of a Brit rock style from the 80s meshed with a late 90s pop rock sound. It actually fits more than you might think. Some of the lyrics are difficult to understand, but the main lyric “I love the girl that I can’t have” is evident and works. Lots of us can relate.

The third track “(I feel so) Blunt” is kind of a different track, feeling more like a spoken poem over top of some rock chords. The opening is a bit rocky, but it opens up to an intriguing chorus that hits on a lot of good notes. The following “Just Got Paid” is the song that got the Shiners this feature. It’s a fantastic indie rock song that has that perfect balance of authenticity and polish. They don’t sound like arena rock or a garage band, but have this endearing middle ground of a band you can picture enjoying at your local punk venue. Also, the sentimentality of life at pay day (at least back when there used to be more prevalent paper money) is great!

The last track is just the radio edit for the opener, so there’s not much more to say about it. However, in my overall takeaway of this band I have to say there are two distinct sounds here and I apologetically like one more than the other. The pop punk sound of “Generation Y” and “Just Got Paid” are miles ahead of the other tracks on this album. I don’t say that to “knock” the other songs, but to encourage more of this pop rock sound.

If you’re the kind of kid that likes to dress and act punk, but still like a good harmonic hook in a rock tune, then Shiners might be the band for you. Brag when you tell your friends you heard them first, then tell them where you found these cats.

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