Shiner seems to have come full circle by returning to its first label, DeSoto Records, to drop its fourth endeavor, "The Egg." From the days of that earliest effort, "Splay," only frontman and guitarist Allen Epley remains from the initial dynamic three-piece. Despite the constant lineup shifts with each successive album, Shiner's complex yet accessible music continued to evolve -- that is until now.
Though the over-easy "Egg" does have some downright catchy songs (the erratically intricate "Surgery" and the rhythmically brutal title track), they seem cut from the same pattern as the previous release, "Starless." Even the flow of the new album mimics the former: a long, droning minimalist "moment" in the middle of the CD giving way to a more sonically bombastic follow-up. Maybe it's because this is the first album that has not seen a change in band members, but I expected more from an outfit that produced the math-rock masterpiece "Lula Divinia" than the lackluster studio gimmickry and keyboard frippery of songs like "The Simple Truth" and "Pills."
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