The Shins: Wincing The Night Away
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away - [Sub Pop]


"Wincing the night away", the Shins' new album, is the breakthrough album they've been waiting for, for so long. What you probably don't know, is that you've been waiting for this album just as long as they have.

So many bands these days are reaching deep down into the 60's music, trying to find the right link or hook to that flourishing musical period. Some of them wear the clothes, some of them claim to be all about "love and peace", most of them will have a crappy sound and call it "retro". "Wincing the night away" is easily separated from those bands; The Shins don't plunge into the sixties, but pull them forward into the new millennium.

It's always possible to start pointing out all the bands they might be influenced by, from psychedelic to folk rock; I think the right thing to do is to point out the two eras of music that could be spotted out as the dominating ones - the first would be mid sixties to early seventies, and the second one is right here, right now. The Shins merge the two periods into a great blend folk rock, with psychedelic influences and nowdays electronic vibes.

Trying to understand the versatility of styles would be easier with the contrast of the first two songs; "Sleeping lessons", the opening track, is an alternative song by the book - Keyboard sounds opening, fading into stable sounding guitars, giving the song a firm background without taking over the song. "Australia", the second track, is a direct lending into the "Beat club" stages and one can easily imagine the guys with those British invasion haircuts while screaming girls stand at the corner of the stage.

The following songs are a mixture between the styles; dirty sounding openings and bridges accompanied by Beach boys drumming and vocal harmonies, which became the most popular arrangement the second the Beatles released their first track.

"Wincing the night away" will suit anyone who enjoys putting "The byrds" vinyl on the phonogram they bought back in the old days, as well as to those who bought it yesterday at a second hand record store. Worst case scenario: you will get the "when I was your age, our music sounded a lot like that" talk from your dad.

Roy Povarchik

Share |
blog comments powered by Disqus