Photo courtesy Shiny Toy Guns' Facebook page
"Do you really not see me when I come home late at night?" Carah Faye Charnow purred while performing her mammoth single "Waiting Alone." Truth be told, it was a little hard to see the industrial-rock maven in the thickness of smoke in the Echoplex on October 23. But we saw with our hearts and ears.
After five long years, the most beloved lineup of Shiny Toy Guns was back with a new, resilient album (III, on Five Seven Music). They were home, and we saw. We saw with the anticipation that's lasted well over a year, when the Shinys first blessed us with the special announcement that Charnow was back in the ranks, after an album cycle with the diminutive spitfire Sisely Treasure. Treasure was good, but Charnow is tailor-made for the electro ferocity and sensitivity that STG so deftly combine.
Their first big-ish gig touting Charnow's return wasn't without its issues: The opening number was plagued with audio failures that left the spunky singer too obscured. Co-vocalist and guitarist Chad Petree picked up the pieces of their duet, letting the lady cram in at his mic. It was accidental, but that closeness of the band mates was indicative of how right this lineup is. With keysman/bassist Jeremy Dawson and drummer Mikey Martin rounding out the team, they soared through radio hits and gothic deep tracks from their three-record oeuvre.
Charnow's voice rang out clear and strong on the polished cover "Major Tom (Coming Home)" and growled on the new pulse-pounder "Speaking Japanese." Petree bade the audience numerous thank-yous, so obviously grateful to once again be embraced by a public that had been "Waiting Alone" for so long for the next step in Shiny Toy Guns' evolution.
Fans' appendages merrily flailed to the grind of "Le Disko" and reveled in the elaborate light show that accompanied the concert. It was as though one could stretch his fingers to the ceiling and play the oscillation of illumination like a harp.
The Shinys have reemerged and are more effervescent than ever. Welcome back to the hometown heroes.