Shiny Toy Guns @ Webster Hall

Shiny Toy Guns

Webster Hall

April 23, 2009

Shiny Toy Guns (Jordana Borensztajn)NEW YORK, NY—Some artists create onstage characters in an effort to appear interesting and intriguing, and some musicians are just naturally captivating. The members of the Shiny Toy Guns, by their very nature, are gripping, and at their New York gig it was hard to take my eyes off them. While the L.A. quartet specializes in rock and electro music, after seeing them perform (for the first time), I realized it wouldn’t matter what music these guys were playing—electro, rock, pop, blues or even jazz—there’s something exciting and alluring about the way they work as a band.

They gel well, they execute their tunes seamlessly, and their stage presence is mysterious, seductive, high-energy, and powerful all at once. But the best part is that the Shiny Toy Guns’ performance doesn’t rely on just one band member to hold the weight of the crowd’s attention. While Sisely Treasure is incredibly eccentric and easy to get fixated on, vocalist and guitarist Chad Petree is equally charismatic, and bassist and keyboardist Jeremy Dawson also catches the eye.

With seven years experience behind them, and a Grammy nomination, my biggest question is why, with such a high-quality performance and well-established name, the Shiny Toy Guns didn’t attract a larger crowd. I mean, their show was faultless. They had the perfect balance between killer tracks and entertaining banter, and the way they worked the crowd was seamless; they keep fans at bay during tender moments, revved the crowd up as songs built, and encouraged fans to explode when tracks were at their peak. So why wasn’t it a full house? It was a Thursday night, at Webster Hall, in New York, and it wasn’t a sell out. Frankly, I’m stumped.

Treasure has a great voice, and is eccentric as anything. Her facial expressions, the way she carries herself, and her energy is bizarre but believable, and even the guyliner and glitter that Petree sported was digestible—and the fact he gets away with that says a lot. It’s never too late to hear something great about a band and add them to your artist list. By now, it’s safe to say that unless some great miracle or media stunt occurs, it’s unlikely the Shiny Toy Guns’ fan base will grow by a lot. But if you’re looking for something different, check them out. I can guarantee the Shiny Toy Guns would be an addition that would certainly offer serious returns in any music collection. After all, tracks like “You Are The One,” “Rainy Monday,” and “Ghost Town,” are, at the bare minimum, addictive as hell.

—by , June 11, 2009


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