September 13, 2004

Shiny Around The Edges "why do I love you"

This Denton-based duo, augmented on their debut EP by a cellist and a drummer, pursues a sound that attempts to fuse the stateliness of Low with the charm of Beat Happening. If this sounds bad to you on paper, it sounds even worse on CD. Shiny Around the Edges lacks the songwriting skills of either band; the band merely imitates the slowness of the former and the amateurism of the latter. Most of the six songs on this EP beat a three-chord progression into the ground without enough dynamic or melodic variation to keep things interesting. Not only that, but there are few moments on this CD in which any of the instruments are in tune with each other. It doesn’t help matters that singer/guitarist Jennifer insists on singing notes that are way lower than her actual range. Even at its worst, though, her voice is easier to listen to than fellow singer/guitarist Michael’s terribly flat baritone, which thankfully only makes one appearance on the EP (“Black Whistle”). Overall, the listlessness of Why Do I Love You is so total that by the time closer “As She Lay Sleeping” gets ambushed by a tidal wave of guitar noise, it becomes a case of “too little, too late.” Shiny Around the Edges have already released a follow-up EP since I first heard Why Do I Love You, though, so I’m hoping that their new material is a significant improvement.

--Sean Padilla

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