After five contentious years where the band utilized different lead singers, the original Shiny Toy Guns line-up featuring vocalist Carah Faye Charnow has regrouped to record their third full-length album, appropriately titled III, which is being released today (Oct. 23).
“There’s a maturity within the band from going through sort of the rollercoaster that we’ve been going through that we lovingly call the band demon,” joked Jeremy Dawson during a recent exclusive interview with CBS Local. “It causes tires to explode and bands to break up, keyboards to blow up and keyboards to crash. You can feel all that life stuff in the writing, lyrics and the whole projection of the record. It’s very intense in some ways, and very lightened up in other ways. The basic word is real. It’s so real.”
The 11-track album is indeed a wild ride, loaded with big, pulsating electro beats (“Speaking Japanese”), lush ballads (“If I Lost You”) and the record’s most surprising moment, “Faded Listening,” a slice of smart, perfectly-crafted pop that somehow invokes images of classic Fleetwood Mac amidst the warm synthesized melodies.
“I don’t want to talk about Fleetwood Mac,” protested guitarist Chad Petree about the song. “We’ve gotten so many Fleetwood Mac comparisons. It wasn’t intended to sound so much like them. It’s just the snare (sound). Everyone is being tricked.”
“We are all huge Fleetwood Mac fans, but we’re also huge fans of tons of artists,” added singer Charnow diplomatically. “If there was an influence, it was subconscious. It’s just basically…it’s a vibe. It’s a vibe that Fleetwood Mac touched on a lot, which was sort of melancholy.”
“It’s a new vibe for us, too,” continued Dawson. “We actually weren’t really sure if we were going to put it on the record. It was the very last thing that was written.”
The band will premiere a video for “Faded Listening” this week, with the clip featuring “Tiny Toy Guns” a mock version of the band as kids, starring guitarist Chad Petree’s eight-year-old daughter Ally portraying Carah Faye among the mini-musicians in the music video.
Shiny Toy Guns are launching a tour in support of III, with upcoming shows scheduled for Boston (Oct. 28), Millvale, PA (Oct. 31) and Chicago (Nov. 1).
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local