Carah Faye is back in action.
For those of you who do not know what I mean, let me explain – Faye was the original female vocalist of Oklahoma’s (shout out to my homies!) own Shiny Toy Guns. Ah, yes, it is all coming back to you now.
The electronic focused group recovered quite nicely, however, from Faye’s brief hiatus with their 2008 release Season of Poison, which she was not a part of. Although the album was viewed with mixed opinion (when aren’t these types of artists?), I actually preferred it to the debut, We Are Pilots. All that being said, all three, including the current, are quite nice.
Quite nice – that can mean a few things I guess, perhaps definitely nice then? That is more like it. So far, the band has produced efforts sparking zero complaints from this critic. Outside of my brief annoyance that Sisely Treasure, (amazing name, I know) the previous female singer of STG, had left the group, I haven’t felt an ounce of animosity toward the synth-pop/rock band from the place I used to live.
So, allow me to introduce the third full-length then. Cleverly titled III, the return of Carah Faye is in full force, meaning she becomes the focal point of the record. Not so much like Tom DeLonge was the apparent focus on the latest Blink 182 record, but more so in comparison to their past female voice-usage looking back to the first two STG records.
“Wait For Me” is astounding and a perfect fit for the record. Aside from being the best track on the album, it also meshes with the spotlight being on Faye. She is perfectly delicate and unique on the track and her vocals stay with you all through the night; they’re extremely catchy yet unlike anything you have ever heard. While I feel slightly bad for male vocalist Gregori Chad Petree, mainly because he was such a dominant figure in STG albums past, Faye’s newly acquired role seems to help Petree. As an enormous fan of his voice, the new focus makes his parts all the more impressive and desirable.
Other tracks like “Waiting Alone” and “Fading Listening” show off the band’s vast electronic (’80s-esque) influence, showing that they have mastered the modernization of a former sensation in the music world (“Fading Listening” literally sounds like it could have been a Fleetwood Mac song). However, it is the finale that really gives the band that final push toward greatness. The two simplest tracks on the album create the deepest footprint. “Take Me Back To Where I Was” closes the album with Petree taking on the role of solo lead. Backed by only a piano, the male vocalist is precise in his notes and pitch with nothing to hide behind.
While the tracks (“Wait For Me” as well) sound nothing like the rest of the album, they definitely find a way to separate III from their previous two albums – quite possibly (definitely possibly) the two best tracks the band has ever produced.
For Those Who Like: The Sounds‘ Crossing the Rubicon – The Birthday Massacre‘s Walking With Strangers – Alice In Videoland‘s A Million Thoughts and They’re All About You