Shiny Toy Guns - III

Even while promoting their Grammy-nominated debut We Are Pilots back in 2006, Shiny Toy Guns were in the process of falling apart - to the point that singer Carah Faye moved to Sweden and the remaining members replaced her for the follow-up album. It's all happy families again though, with Faye back in the fold and this new album of unabashed synth pop that sees them back on familiar ground after a drift into more guitar-driven material.

There's something particularly American about STG' approach to the genre. III absolutely reeks of being the soundtrack to an unmade John Hughes movie, which is not necessarily the compliment it might seem, mainly because of its rather dated nature. Sure, tracks like 'Waiting Alone' and 'Carrie' ("Taken over by a ... cobra!") would play out in the background of serious ("deep") conversational interludes between earnest teens, but too often there's a robotic, stilted quality that, while very authentic 80s, verges on kitsch. 'Speaking Japanese' suggests they may have heard the occasional modern club track (presumably after a spot Marty McFly-style time travel) but overall, this is one for ageing A-ha fans and 80s retro-heads only.



out of 10
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