Shone - Heat Thing

Shone got so caught up in the creation of hype, tension and suspense, they forget to deliver anything but.

Hype is a dangerous thing – more often than not the subject of the hype, the frenzied cousin of anticipation, does not live up to it. Shone are clearly not of this mindset. From the word go, which was not so much a word as a deliberately-loud whisper, every effort from the band themselves and a plethora of musical friends was to build hype, boost anticipation and bolster interest. All the B’s. Between social media treasure hunts, stripped back and slightly spooky websites and hushed and mysterious line ups, Shone, and the album’s name, Heat Thing, was on everyone’s lips. It helped that the artists involved, Brian Lane and, supposedly, Vin Accardi of Brand New, have the kind of fans that hang on their idols’ every word. And so, hype at fever pitch was achieved. But intense hype begets intense scrutiny.

The opening piano keys on ‘Piano Wire Number 12’ appear to soak up and retain the tension Shone spent so much time creating. Lane pounds the drums while frontman Andrew Accardi (Vin’s brother) slurs an unnerving caricatured drawl. It’s intricate and understated, yet bold with a strong sense of over-the-top performance. No note or chord is anticipated as Shone seems to do everything in their power to throw off the listener – erratic guitar parts, punctuating silences and bizarre effects. This theme continues throughout the album, only the irrelevance and irregularity of the sounds and its ability to unsettle growing. This is all very well if the aim of an album is to soundtrack a haunted art house fairground. Otherwise it’s jarring and frustrating. Similarly, Accardi’s vocals grow more and more ridiculous to the point of piss-taking.

There are moments of brilliance and the presence of talent and creativity is clear, but it’s misguided. The opener and ‘Baby Shakes’ are in the minority as being recognisable as conventional songs, elsewhere it’s instrumentals, sound effects and contrived nuances. For all Heat Thing’s efforts to stand out and be different, it infuriates as the ability to make an album worthy of Shone’s ability is left out in the cold. It seems Shone got so caught up in the creation of hype, tension and suspense, they forget to deliver anything but.

Tags: Shone, Reviews, Album Reviews

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