Shining Through - Stripes EP
Record Label: Authentik Artists
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Combining the songwriting tact of The Used and the often unapologetic lyricism of Say Anything, California-based Shining Through are bringing us their take on pop-rock with a new EP by the name of Stripes. And while there’s certainly a familiar feel to these tracks in the vein of the aforementioned bands, and a few question marks in execution along the way, these six songs show enough vigor and command of the art that Shining Through might be a band to keep an eye on in the future.
“Fuse” leads us into the EP with a vaguely familiar melody, spiking sing/scream vocals into a very Taking Back Sunday-like concoction of dynamic guitars and smooth melodies. It’s kind of short, but pretty sweet, displaying some interesting lyrical direction that floats somewhere between clever and clumsy in terms of cohesion. And while this leadoff track might give you some premonitions for the rest of the EP, Stripes veers farther and farther away from this sound as it progresses.
“Bad Man’s Game” tones things down a bit, boosting the melodies and dropping the screams, leaving us with a solid track with a decently memorable chorus, while “Balance Beam” pumps the brakes even more, turning a somber, yet strong melody into a pseudo-ballad of love lost that works well enough despite some strange production decisions in the layering of vocals. It seems a bit misguided to lead off the EP with something much more constructed and then to fall back on fairly straightforward pop-rock, whether it’s toning down the vocals or scaling back the instruments, but sequencing aside, it would still feel a little off.
To be fair though, Shining Through sure like to channel Max Bemis a bunch, whether it is the almost imaginable cloning in the softer spots “Blood” or the acoustic bits of “So Far Away”. Say that it’s the vocals or the way the words are crafted – it could even be the production cues of gang ooh’s in the latter track that will remind you of Say Anything. The strange slinging of auto-tune to end the EP doesn’t sit well though, leaving us with a mess of vocals instead of what should have been a proper choral-like ending to “So Far Away”.
Shining Through might not have everything quite figured out, but hopefully as the band continues down the path of maturation they’ll tighten things up and find a way to transform their influences into something a bit more concrete. That being said, Stripes certainly isn’t bad by any means, and worth a spin for fans of pop-rock of nearly any walk.
I really like Shining Through, they are one of the most underrated bands out there today. I absolutely loved their previous release the "White Flag EP", (it's actually one of my favourite EPs ever). I thought this deserved more than a 60.