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Music Review: The Shimmers – The Way You Shine

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Like most zine writers, I have a day job. My boss… I could write a book about my boss. And maybe, one day after he's died and I am no longer his employee, I will. But, anyway, back to my boss. My boss was once in a folk band. I won't name it. But, if I did name it, you would seriously love to see the cover art of their one album I've been able to get my grimy paws on. Anyway, my boss' band put the "F" in FOLK. Soaring female vocals that silk and smooth and try to drag you to an art show over general inoffensive folk standards. And no, I'm not going to get in trouble for writing this, because even he doesn't entirely respect that album.

But I never thought I would find myself listening to inoffensive, boring folk music again. Especially after I saw the cover of the Shimmers' The Way You Shine album. Everything about this record seem marketed toward the indie crowd. Abstract album cover and trendy indie scene "names" (Mirah, Baby Flamehead) make it seem much more interesting than it actually turns out to be. And I'm not asking for freak folk or blood or Tyrannosaurus Rex; what I'm asking for is not to be dragged to some fucking art show where a bunch of bitches are wearing shirts emblazoned with kittens preciously pawing at balls of pink yarn. Seriously, "You Want More" makes me want to find where the Shimmers are playing next and pelt them with beer cans until they're driven to send their cows out into the audience to fight me. And listen, by following up "You Want More" with "Small Grey House" means I am NOT going to leave the brass knuckles at home. Better bring a vet to your next show, Shimmers.

Listen, I am not angry with the Shimmers. Okay, I take that back. I am a little angry. I think there is a place in the world for entirely inoffensive folk music. In fact, that's what most modern folk music is that doesn't fall into the freak or avant categories. It's just a fact of life.

But I feel the Shimmers should market themselves to people who will actually like their music. There are plenty of girls wearing big balloony skirts and drinking chocolate soy milk who are dying to hear this album. There are plenty of older men growing beards and carving animals out of wood who are dying to hear it, too. They just need to find their niche market, and seriously, the Shimmers will be golden. I promise. And when that day comes, they'll never have to deal with me or my criticism again. I'll know coming into the record that I'll hate it, and I'll do what's good and what's honorable and bow out. I'll let them get their good reviews, because I know there will be no people like me getting sucked into listening to them. But until that day, hey, Shimmers: IT'S ON.

by Megan Giddings

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