New Audio: Kansas City’s Post Hardcore Titans Shiner Returns with an Anthemic Dirge

Kansas City, MO-based post hardcore act Shiner — currently, comprised of Jason Gerkin (drums), Paul Malinowski (bass) Allen Epley (guitar) and Josh Newton (guitar) — can trace their origins back to their formation back in 1992. Shortly, after their formation, the band signed to DeSoto Records, owned by Jawbox’s Kim Coletta and Bill Barbot, and had a prolific and busy six year run that included some relentless touring and a handful of well-received albums of hook-driven, power chord-based material that ended with 2001’s critically applauded The Egg.

Shiner broke up in 2002 but in 2012, The Egg was re-released on vinyl, and the band reunited to play sold-out shows in New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Chicago, which were some of the biggest shows of their careers. In 2018, the current members of the Kansas City-based post hardcore act decided that the band wasn’t quite finished — and that their story should be continued into the future. After a handful of recording sessions over the next 18 months at Paul Malinowski’s Shawnee, KS-based Massive Sound Studios, the band emerged with their self-produced, forthcoming album Schadenfreude. “We’ve always been extremely hands-on, even when working with someone else technically ‘producing,’” the band’s Josh Newton says. “With The Egg we ended up remixing and adding things to almost half the record on our own. At this stage in our existence, we know what we should sound like.”

Reportedly, the album not only finds the band not missing a beat despite the lengthy hiatus, the album’s material manages to stand on their own. “A lot of themes on the album are pretty dark but always with a silver lining around the edges,” the band’s Allen Epley says in press notes. “The title itself is a commentary on the most common human trait of enjoying your rivals’ demise. Or your apparent enemies.”

“Life As A Mannequin” Schadenfreude‘s first single is a slow-burning, hook-driven, power chord-based arena rock friendly dirge that sonically — to my ears, at least — recalls Songs for the Deaf-era Queens of the Stone Age, One by One-era Foo Fighters and 90s grunge. “The song came together very quickly; we had the arrangement laid out literally the second time through the tune,” the band says. “The simple kind of Willy Wonka vocal melody on the verse belies the heaviness of the lyrics and the urge of pure elation of giving into your worst tendencies, like scratching under a cast you know you really shouldn’t but it feels so good. Or the recovering alcoholic having a hard day and just deciding to really turn on and say ‘fuck it, i’m getting drunk tonight.'”

The band will be touring to support their forthcoming album with a North American tour. Be on the lookout for tour dates.