Very little on Season of Poison, the newest release from California dance/punk/post rock act Shiny Toy Guns, comes across as subtle. This is not a bad thing. You have to appreciate a band who can throw everything in their arsenal into just about every song and it not come out sounding like a big fat mess. The songs, whether they are dipping into the realm of dance music or some future rock (or both at the same time), are well constructed, never outstaying their welcome (even on the 8-minute-plus “Poison”) or seeming too obtuse. The melodies are catchy, and even when the songs re-interpret 80s New Wave ballad conventions they are rarely so sugary (in the rote pop sense) that you feel the need to skip ahead to the next track. Guitarist and vocalist Chad Petree, along with co-lead vocalist Sisely Treasure, both prove to be plenty capable at walking the line between lush and accessible and full of vitriol the next. That, combined with the washes of synthesizers and the forward thinking programming (which thankfully never seems to get in the way) make for an exciting package. The only downside is that despite how forward thinking the music is, it still feels like they could have pushed it further. This is, of course, being really nit-picky. The bottom line is that Season of Poison is a good record that is both interesting and fun to listen to. Who could fault it for that?
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