Oklahoma synthpop, electroclash, electronica-rock band Shiny Toy Guns attempted to rock the stylish – if a bit too small – club Velvet Jones on State Street, but Sunday night is no match for even the most danceable bands, as I found myself losing interest by the time the band hit the stage.
Backing it up, the first opener, Liverpool’s the Delta Fiasco, rocked the joint more than the next band Your Vegas or headliner Shiny Toy Guns ever did. A trio fully committed completely to the synthpop/electronica genre, the songs weaved in and out of each other and got everyone dancing, pumping us up for a show that never fully delivered on the promise provided by this opening act.
No fault on them though; I blame Velvet Jones and the roadies for taking forever to set up between sets. Seriously, it took an hour or more. Corporate stadiums can get away with that, but at a tiny club, it’s unacceptable. By the time Leeds’ Your Vegas came on, the vodka and Redbull had worn off and I was pretty sleepy. Your Vegas was a little too much cock rock for my taste, with the lead singer suffering a bit of Scott Stapp (of Creed fame) syndrome. The band had some pretty interesting textures, but I think most of the audience felt Your Vegas had overstayed its welcome.
I dig Shiny Toy Guns, especially when I’m in the mood to dance. The band is dark and fun and groovy, but on Sunday, it failed to work up enough energy to get everyone to let loose. I was unaware that it had recently replaced one of its lead singers, Carah Faye Charnow, with a new girl (Sisely Treasure), and the weakness showed. Mostly, Chad Petree hogged the mic, and I swear that Treasure’s mic was turned down a lot lower than anyone else’s. The duo’s dynamic, which I once thought made it unique was gone, and Treasure was relegated to essentially backup singing
Shiny Toy Guns straddle the line between alternative rock and electronica, but that night, it was too much Dashboard Confessional and not enough of the Faint. The new songs off of its recently released album, Season Of Poison, were a little too generic and schmaltzy, and focused more on chugging guitars than the cool synth-laden songs of 2006’s We Are Pilots.
I applaud the bands for taking on a Sunday night gig, because believe me, Sundays can be pretty dead in Santa Barbara. Velvet Jones managed to get a pretty decent crowd who ultimately wavered between being super enthusiastic (again, the Delta Fiasco was fantastic) and a little bored. Maybe I was just too tired to notice how good Shiny Toy Guns was, or maybe I just wasn’t familiar enough with the new album (and I didn’t have enough booze), but I was a little let down by the whole affair.
I managed to regain some energy when Shiny Toy Guns played my favorite song, “Don’t Cry Out,” but it was more of a release than anything, and I could go home a few songs early, confident I hadn’t missed anything too important. I should have had another Redbull, I guess.