Kansas City’s Shiner are excited to announce the May 8 release of Schadenfreude, their first bit of music since the 2001 release of their critically acclaimed LP The Egg. Today they share the album’s first single “Life As A Mannequin” and of the track they note, “This song came together very quickly; we had the arrangement laid out literally the 2nd time through the tune. The simple kind of Willy Wonka vocal melody on the verse belies the heaviness of the lyric and the urge and pure elation of giving in to your worst tendencies, like scratching under a cast you know you really shouldn’t but it feels so good. Or the recovering alcoholic having a hard day and just deciding to really turn on and say fuck it, I’m getting drunk tonight.”
After a few recording sessions that took place over a year and a half, the band have emerged with 8 solid songs that make up Schadenfreude. The LP was self-produced, engineered, and mixed at Malinowski’ own Massive Sound studio in Shawnee, KS. “We’ve always been extremely hands-on, even when working with someone else technically ‘producing,’” says Newton, “with The Egg we ended up remixing and adding things to almost half the record on our own. At this stage in our existence, we know what we should sound like.”
Despite the hiatus, Shiner have not missed a beat Gerken is still a drummer’s drummer and his heavy right foot is tied to Malinowski’s distorted-symphony bass. Epley and Newton hew left and right in the mix and worked in lockstep counterpoint throughout the proceedings and leave room for the vocals to enter the mix without overtaking, and instead working as a whole within the strings and skins.
The songs on Schadenfreude are not so much an answer to The Egg as some properly timed follow up might, but instead stand on their own. It’s the sound of a 4 piece band with each player finding his place in a book as though he just left the room an hour earlier and picked up on the next paragraph upon return. Epley says, “a lot of themes on the album are pretty dark but always with a silver lining around the edges. The title itself is a commentary on the most common human trait of enjoying your rivals’ demise. Or your apparent enemies.”
After their extended break from the studio and life on the road Shiner is once again looking forward with the May 8 release of Schadenfreude and a North American tour planned for 2020.