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previous


Shinyville - No Sleep till Babylon
CD (Lincoln, NE)



-i'm online
-s.o.b.
-court tv
-election day
-hale bopping
-joy of cooking
-darren keen forgot about all the little people
-sundays
-fat camp
-free makeover
-my flow is tight
-let's get gone




Mr. Pantastic - Vocals
Dr. Tao Honeybunsen - Drums
Pope-bot 2012 - Guitar
All - Synths, Programming, Noise
Cover Art by John Stillmunks

Reviews:
(Aiding & Abetting No. 278) While I stand by Mushroomhead as the foremost metal incarnation of Faith No More, Shinyville might make the same claim on the "weird" music front. This trio of folks throws more ideas into the pot for one song than most bands do during a career. It's truly hard to believe that three people could replicate this stuff live. And maybe that's not the point. What is undeniable is the power of the music, a bass-heavy, keyboard-drenched throb infused with all manner of eclectic sounds and ideas. Every song lurches in a different direction before the three manage to corral it and bring the thing back into the fold. The writing is almost impossibly complex...and it works. The production has left the sound somewhat flat, which helps to highlight the wide-ranging flights within each song. Not one tidbit gets lost in the shuffle. You can hear everything, even though processing everything might make your brain explode. Exciting is an understatement. Invigorating doesn't begin to explain things. Shinyville is a truly unique beast, one that must be experienced to be believed. Shouldn't you be doing that right now? - Jon Worley

(Dead Angel No. 8) This is eccentric but catchy stuff; this trio from Omaha, Nebraska combines catchy dance beats, irresistible pop hooks, and a decidedly psychotronic approach, sort of like a more listenable and less scatalogical Mr. Bungle, or perhaps John Zorn on a pop kick. Actually, the Mr. Bungle comparison is appropriate in light of the fact that singer Mr. PanTastic often sounds very much in the same ballpark as Mike Patton, all full of eccentric dynamics and odd voices. The songs are built around more or less "traditional" pop structures, then exploded with strange sounds, whacked-out drum 'n bass grooves, left-field guitar weirdness, and other perverse musical escapades that still somehow manage to keep things hopping with an unshakable booty-shaking groove. Maybe this is actually what Funkadelic would have sounded like if they hadn't all been on drugs. (Then again, after seeing the way the band dresses onstage, I'm not sure these guys aren't sailing the sugar cube seas themselves.) This is unquestionably the closest PE has ever come to releasing a "rock" album, but it's still bizarre enough (and still grounded in sonic experimentalism) to fit in with PE's destroyed-freejazz / avant-garde aesthetic. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself getting up and getting down, just like Beavis and Butthead used to do, at any point during the listening process. - RKF

(Neo-Zine) This is good. Shinyville has a well put together sound. It might not be too far from pop, but it is vital and new and exciting sounding enough to keep my attention. Primariy this is going to guide you towards alt-industrial catagorization, but there is certainly more here to play with. These guys also play straight forward rock, new wave, and even go near electronic/ techno areas with their tight ass beats. It is a charasmatic blend of styles, with some classy moments, a few silly seconds, and a lot to learn from. This is dance music that makes you think. The vocalist is pretty skillful. He plays it suave where he should, and gets more gamey where appropriate. The overall sound of the band is pretty damn original. I can't say that I've heard anyone who is exactly like this. Everything is quite dramatic with this band. Its also a bit quirky. I'm guessing that the recording isn't exactly aimed at the "cool" crowd. This might be a recording that takes a bit of time to warm up to. Its all so differently done yet so close to convention that it makes things difficult for a first time listen. I do know that the CD made me happy while I listened. I don't know if it will make me happy on a bunch of repeated listens. - CHC

(Smother.net) Electronic bizarre music that plays host to melodic pop hooks and bleepy bass-y anthems, “No Sleep Till Babylon” seems to be the crucial elbow joint between film noir and a John Zorn album. Good thing both are influences on Shinyville. The first song sounds like it’s the result of a drugged out late night at a club with a DJ who is mixing a heavy rock album with dubby drum-n-bass and playing Mario (samples from the original are contained within) while watching “Lawrence of Arabia”. Yes this Omaha trio is that weird and eclectic but they manage to not sound like a bleeping cartoon and instead do something that Mike Patton will no doubt be influenced by. - J-Sin

(Sonic Curiosity No. 294) This release from 2006 features 49 minutes of clever pop tunes. Shinyville is: Mr. Pan Tastic (on vocals), Dr. Tao Honeybunsen (on drums), and Pope-bot 2012 (on guitar), with the three members contributing synths, programming, and noise. Hyperactive rhythms propel quirky melodies rendered by guitar pyrotechnics and an assortment of nimble effects designed to dazzle and bewilder the audience. The drums (natural and synthetic) generate a plethora of frantic beats whose influence cannot be dodged or avoided. The tempos are infectious and delightfully unpredictable. The guitar alternates between softly lilting chords and overtly frenetic assaults, delivering a relentless dose of captivating riffs whose allure is far from subtle, striking to a psychosomatic core with deadly intent. Growling like a beast one minute, then crooning with romantic appeal the next, the guitar refuses to be easily codified. The vocals are agile and emphatic. The cerebral singing is often exhausting to follow, jumping all over the place and stabbing the audience from numerous directions at once. Laced with political sentiments and relationship quandaries, the lyrics cover a versatile range of topics, all of which stem from a point-of-view drenched in humorous cynicism. Steeped in influences as widely ranging as funk and prog rock and pop, the compositions are slickly crafted, then filtered through a highly eccentric disposition. The result has great cross-market appeal. - Matt Howarth

(Sea of Tranquility) Here's another oddball from the good folks at Public Eyesore Records. Shinyville's debut No Sleep Till Babylon bridges the gap between metal, synth-pop, and avant-garde, falling somewhere into a musical stew pot that includes artists as diverse as Faith No Moore, Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa, The B-52's, John Zorn, Primus, and Violent Femmes. Pitting cranking metal guitar with funky drum grooves and new wave/dance/prog/pop keyboard textures, Shinyville are at times all over the map, but you have to give them credit, as their sound and style is quite unique. Hot tracks include the dance/trance blasts of "I'm Online", the Prince-influenced funk of "S.O.B.", the bubbling synth-pop of "Darren Keen Forgot About All the Little People", and the grinding metal of "Sundays". For the most part the songs here are pretty engaging and have a certain child-like charm to them, as well as the fact that there's groove aplenty with adds to the fun factor quite a bit. A perfect example of this is on the chunk monster "My Flow is Tight", a meaty, funk rock vehicle with plenty of wah-wah guitar licks, groovy rhythms, spacey keys, and catchy vocals. Word has is that Mr. PanTastic (vocals, keyboards), Dr. Tao Honeybunsen (drums, keyboards), and Pope (guitar, keyboards) put on a pretty exciting stage show, so if you get the chance to catch this band and their "video game sountrack on acid" music in a live setting, chances are you'll be in for a unique treat. - Pete Pardo

(Chain D.L.K.) Wow, I've had more problems trying to classify this cd than reviewing the other weird artists on Public Eyesore, I think it has to do with the fact this release is one of those works that sound almost normal even if it's quite singular. The only similarity I've found immediately (maybe that's just my impression) is the use of the vocals a la Mike Patton, I know it can be misleading therefore let's speak about the vocals included in the whole musical context. Shinyville have put almost everything in the receipt of their soup, I can't say if it's always so tasty but it has its moments. Electronic, dub-rock-dance rhythms, distorted guitars, ethnical music, dance-synths…probably every genre you can imagine but pure metal...well they have it. This' melodic release both for the music and for the modus operandi of the singer, they've this post-eighties aftertaste mainly given by the old fashioned sound of the keyboards. Take it with a grain of salt but I think to give a picture of the music they play I could say this' a mix of Faith No More, Peeping Tom and some old releases on Ninja Tune plus a rockish chugga chugga guitar. To the list of stupid comparisons you probably have to add Living Color, I can even imagine Corey Glover singing on this update/singular version of some of the songs he used to sung back in the days. A while ago this would have been classified as crossover, and that's crossover music indeed. - Andrea Ferraris

(Ampersand Etcetera) Something not regularly seen on PE – an album that would not be out-of-place with a more mainstream release. But no disrespect to either band or label as what we love about it is the diversity – you could quite happily have an mp3-player just of Public Eyesore and there would be something for most moods. This is complex guitar/drums with keyboards/synths progressive roc: there are suggestions of heavy metal vocalising, Led Zep like eastern excursions, hooks beats and verse/chorus structure. Other people who came to my mind included Zappa, Godley Crème, Dense, entertaining and very well produced, there is the edge of weirdness visible that melds it in with the various label-mates. But it one of those twisting releases which it is hard to immediately grasp where it is heading – which is great as predictability is an anathema. The variation also means that there is plenty to get out of it. A different but satisfying direction for PE. - Jeremy Keens

(Touching Extremes) It's unlucky that I received this 2006 debut CD almost a year late, but I'm confident that their technical expertise and pop-ish, hook-ish bravura will guarantee Shinyville a sunny place in the restricted area of low-visibility rock bands that need to be exposed to further fame. I'm not kidding: these cats can play, and "No sleep till Babylon" is chock full of excellent music. They are Mr. PanTastic (vocals), Dr. Tao Honeybunsen (drums), Pope-bot 2012 ("makes guitar noises", they say, but he is very gifted if you ask me) and the fourth member, Golemite, is an iPod that reproduces "aural and visual samples"; the humans also work on "synths, programming and noise". Shinyville list a series of influences: Beck, Prince, Mr.Bungle, Bjork, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Violent Femmes and John Zorn; but most of all I hear them as a reduced version of the fabulous Tubes (one of my favourite bands - get this, EAI zealots). Besides, they hail from Omaha, Nebraska (Fee Waybill's birthplace) and, from what I could muster, perform masked. Any coincidence here? What I mean is that this CDs contains guitar virtuosity, synthetic nefariousness, harmonic detours and bastard vocalism in large doses, yet everything has been cooked following unusual recipes that include all of the above influences and much more (techno-lovers, there's something for you herein). These guys sound as tight as a green pinecone, and there are a coupla (make that five or six) tunes that will stay with you for a long time, one of my favourites being "Darren Keen forgot about all the little people". Try to get a grip on the lyrics, too and you won't be disappointed (start with "S.O.B."). There, I said it - Shinyville are great. We want more. - Massimo Ricci

(iTunes) The genre here is "alternative", yet I am not sure that is even the right word. Part of me wants to call it techno-art-fun-and-roll, and the other part of me wants to call it awesome. In short, 99.9% of music today has the same boring formula, and has little originality. Not so with Shinyville. The singer has an excellent range and unique voice. He moves from "mainstream" sensibilty to insane in the blink of an eye, and it works. The guitar is extremely creative, as is the sampling. Why this band is not in the public eye nationally shows just how dumb people like their music. - SBandG


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