Indie-Disco Lacking That Certain Something
Shiny Toy Guns have been knocking around since 2002, although from their mid-afternoon set on the Carling Stage you wouldn't have realised. There is a considerable amount of hype surrounding this band on the internet- take a peep at their Myspace page and you'll notice their music player gets almost 10,000 hits a day and the band has over 260,140 friends.
Their set begins with a winding guitar intro with billowing smoke pouring down into the audience. With one punter displaying a Muse tattoo proudly across her back, my hopes lifted somewhat, before being dashed as the guitars morphed into something that sounded far too similar to the kind of emo that is rife amongst the charts these days.
Now, either I am simply too old to quite 'get' this band, or there are a lot of people out there in the world who don't mind if Shiny Toy Guns seem to lack any kind of direction whatsoever in their live sets. With my eclectic musical tastes and a fondness for all things prog, I am quite happy with bands who wish to explore new sounds or experiment with different directions, but Shiny Toy Guns seem uncertain which direction they wish to take. Perhaps this is down to the fact they're playing the Carling stage, which seems to be rather unforgiving with its sound levels, or a bad day for the band perhaps- certainly their material sounds like it is performed by a different band on record.
One thing Shiny Toy Guns do have going for them however, is the use of duel vocals. It's a fantastic change to hear both male and female led vocals, however, the mood shifts completely when Carah takes hold of the mic and again, it sounds like a completely different band. 'You Are The One' is a catchy slab of indie-disco, as is 'Le Disko'. There's a feeling of being trapped in the 80's skulking beneath the disco beats that is hard to ignore.
'Rainy Monday' is a little quieter and at times brings to mind classic Depeche Mode. Chad Petree is on vocals duty for the entire song whilst Carah leaps into the postion of bass player effortlessly. It's a song that goes down well, especially on the back of the terrible summer throughout the UK.
On record, Shiny Toy Guns sound far more credible and at times there is a glimmer of something great lurking between their synths and guitars - if you can look past the 80's pop sound. However, until the band find the tightness they need to survive on stage, they will continue to sound like a mish-mash of bands and styles rolled into one convenient myspace-literate band.