A jolt of real rockShiny Toy Guns - We Are Pilots
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2007
Review by Andy ArgyrakisWhile the days of Motown's soul days are long gone, the debut disc from Shiny Toy Guns does develop with groove laden dance sounds. But rather than recalling Smokey Robinson or The Temptations, the alt-pop foursome resides much closer to the synthesized sweetness of New Order or Depeche Mode with hints of Yaz. Of course, that formula's nothing new these days thanks to a slew of carbon copy acts trying desperately to be the next Joy Division, and while this particular group isn't reinventing the wheel, We Are Pilots has a delectably shining glow all on its own.
Much of the luster comes from the shared male/female vocal responsibilities between the dark and brooding Chad Petree with the sunnier Carah Faye. The pair's winning combination first made waves on compilation albums like Goth Electro Tribute To Depeche Mode and Goth Electro Tribute To Prince, though the chemistry reaches yet another level on this disc's eleven engaging cuts. The lead track "You Are the One" sounds like it came straight out of an underground club in the 80s, minus overproduction and any dated effects. Surprisingly its follow-up "Le Disko" sounds much more current, taking programming elements a la Kraftwerk with technologically generated booms, dings and distortion.
"Don't Cry Out" is a lighthearted, percolating affair carried by Faye's delicate delivery, while Petree adds his deep bellied moans to the eerie "Starts With One." Though he reprises the lead role on the intense electronic/live instrumentation romp "Shaken," his partner's sublime chants provide a delightful dynamic shift. Its followed from the female perspective with the tender hearted title cut, boasting a ghostly, chilled out arrangement that rounds out the record on a reflective note. As a complete package, We Are Pilots makes a near seamless launch, opening a lustrous door for these Los Angeles upstarts.
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