SHINER- ‘Schadenfreude’

A warm blanket of an album, this. Oh, I’m sure Shiner, back after a lifetime away, want to inspire a more transcendental reaction, but ‘Schadenfreude’ finds the space rock pioneers slotting everything in its right place. Clever, shimmering riffs twist, start and stop, clean melodies emerge from grungy post-hardcore roars, dynamic guitars swirl around Allen Epley’s subtly-snarled, layered vocals, and Jason Gerken doesn’t miss a punchy, powerful beat. It feels like it’s been two minutes since the band’s last album, not two decades. Alongside the recent return of peers like Failure, the Kansas City quartet’s comeback has probably been at least in-part inspired by renewed interest in their sound and new bands soaring into space rock territory. But Shiner always felt connected to earth and steel as much as zero gravity though, and you can still hear that unique weight- there’s as much desert dust here as stardust. A comfortable, complete, and consistent listen.

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