Nature Bears A Vacuum is an omnibus from 1999 before The Shins signed for SubPop. In that time the band was touring with Modest Mouse.
The Shins 2001's debut, Oh, Inverted World
, made a lot of best-of lists by demanding fans' ears, whose reaction to the tiresome glut of indie rock was to grow even more discerning. Separating the wheat from the endless fields of chaff is more and more difficult, but always rewarding when the actual talent presents itself to you, as this LP does right away. And it sure makes it easier when a respected label such as Sub Pop gets back on the supreme melodic bent it was on when they ruled with Sebadoh
, Eric Matthews
, Jeremy Enigk
, and others, just a few years prior. And having digested the many splendid pleasures Oh, Inverted World
offers, glomming this four-song EP is a nice stopgap while waiting for more. Its familiar "Know Your Onion" and three B-sides aren't mere collector's fodder. Recorded live at Seattle's Graceland, October 26, 2001, "My Seventh Rib" must have been written too late for the LP sessions, as this insistent, 16th-note- fest reveals the band's forte: it's filled with non-stop energy, deft dynamics, and James Mercer
's typically singsong tune that grabs you like an NHL defenseman if you get near the puck. The LP's "New Slang" sounds more plaintive and Kinks
-like, and another new tune, "Sphagnum Esplanade," closes matters on a minimal, light note. We want more Shins and we want it now! This just whets the appetite.The Shins - Know Your Onion
The Shins' "So Says I" was the lead single off of 2003's acclaimed Chutes Too Narrow
. The title track is taken from the album and is an insanely bouncy song with some very woozy vocal harmonies. "Mild Child" was recorded in singer James Mercer
's basement. It's a lo-fi, dreamily melodic ballad that is shrouded in an atmospheric haze of reverb, and the ramshackle acoustic take on Chutes Too Narrow
's "Gone for Good" was also recorded in Mercer
's basement acoustic. A fine preview for a fine album by a fine band.The Shins - So Says I
Fighting In A Sack is the latest single from The Shins released in 2004 from Universal International.The Shins - Fighting In A Sack
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