The Shiny Darks
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The Shiny Darks

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States
Alternative Punk

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"Holy smokes, this is great stuff. Genius!"

Holy smokes, this is great stuff. Genius! - Alan Lammey, KNTH


""The best song of the whole compilation...a track as essential as it is infectious.""

"The best song of the whole compilation ends the first volume, a track as essential as it is infectious. I Wanna Be A Kennedy from The Shiny Darks is stunning, the Texans exploring the ear with incendiary melodic strikes and intrusive beats all borne from a flaming energy and intent." - Pete Ringmaster - The Ringmaster Review


"If you're looking for some driving rock and roll, this is the band."

If you're looking for some driving rock and roll, this is the band. Their new EP, "Stab at Love" is chock full of energetic, though somewhat dark vocals backed by killer instrumentals. - The Indie Music Review


"...fun light-hearted rock n’roll songs..."

The Shiny Darks bring their throwback punk rock style back into the mix with their 4-song EP titled Stab At Love. Some kids might consider this sound to fall into the “oldies” but this brand of punk ROCK is still kicking today with bands like Swingin Utters and Street Dogs, a style that is rock n’ roll but with a little edge. There was a time when you could understand clearly what the vocalist was singing and songs were catchy and fun, The Shiny Darks are attempting to bring that sound back to the forefront.

From the get-go you notice that the EP has very quality production; the guitars are crisp and clear and when the distortion kicks in you can still clearly define different chords. The low-end is nice too, solid and slightly fat but not too boomy. “Stab at Love” is the title track and leads off the EP and almost instantly you hear the catchy-ness with a groovy little bass riff before the whole band kicks in. The vocals are not perfect, they’re not auto-tuned, they’re honest and have character. The band sounds best when they’re playing at full-volume, the vocals have a little strain to them and sounds very energetic. During the softer parts of songs, like the bridge of “Stab at Love” or most of “Photographs” the vocals sound a bit shaky.

The theme of the EP is loss and disappointment, the idea of wanting something better but when you finally get it you’re usually let down. In “I Wanna Be a Kennedy” the singer explains after hitting it big time that “I’ve lost everything, I’ve got nothing left. My hearts a grave.” “Holiday” is the most outwardly spiritual song singing “Every day was harder than the last, but I held on. Looking back God never let go of my soul.” It might be a little frustrating to some listeners that often throughout the EP the writer does not rhyme the verses, a little bit awkward but nonetheless it does not take away too much from the final product.

OVERALL The Shiny Darks are attempting to make punk rock relevant again with fun light-hearted rock n’roll songs on Stab At Love. If you’re sick of the same old loud, whiny, over-produced, monotone rock music you’ll enjoy the creativity and diversity of The Shiny Darks. - IndieVisionMusic.com


"Well worth searching out..."

Punk rock is more than just a style; it's also an attitude towards life. The Shiny Darks approach this "with a (metaphorical) kick to the face and a pat on the back". These Houston-based punk rockers were produced by Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash) and veteran studio/session musician turned producer Cameron McKenzie. The title track opens with a xylophone before the rumbling bass takes up the same playful tune and the guitar riffs cascade in and out. The song deals with the end of a love affair and the realisation that it may have been for the best. "What a shock when you disappeared/Words just lies, but oh so clear/You slammed the door shut, cut my heart in two/Thank God! I realised you're not the one". Next is a charging, blistering riff laden jolt of vitriol "I wanna be a Kennedy/Live my life on the silver screen/I wanna be a Kennedy/Cause everything's better in the American Dream" and goes on to contrast this with the everyday experience of the working man. It turns out to be one of the catchiest radio-friendly punk tracks of the year. "Photographs" is more melodic and could almost be described as a ballad, apart from a couple of short sections of loud guitar. It revisits the theme of love lost, but on a wistful, tender level. "I found some photographs while I was trying to forget you/You're still the same, but your smile sure has changed/And every day that passes by, makes me think even less so I/I threw the photographs away". They finish with the gloriously raucous "Holiday". Now you might be expecting a cheery song about summer and sunshine, but this is about taking a holiday to Hell. Reflecting that sometimes life can be a kick in the teeth "Sometimes you gotta go through Hell/To hear the ringing of heaven's bell". Well worth searching out. - CrossRhythms


"One really catchy, well-written..."

I first decided to check out this ep when I read Doug Van Pelt of HM magazine raving about it. At the time it was offered as a free download. One really catchy, well-written download at that. The sound is kind of a gritty garage rock vibe with punk influences throughout (especially The Ramones in places). “Photographs” slows things down just a bit with a melodic turn, while still fitting in with the overall sound and adding some texture that you don’t find on the average punk album - DownTheLineZine.com


"Punk rock is more than just a style; it’s also an attitude towards life. The Shiny Darks approach this “with a (metaphorical) kick to the face and a pat on the back”."

Punk rock is more than just a style; it’s also an attitude towards life. The Shiny Darks approach this “with a (metaphorical) kick to the face and a pat on the back”.

The band is from Houston, Texas and consists of Paul Mendez (bass & vocals), Quentin Rockwell (guitar) and Gem Mendez (drums & backing vocals). They released “At War With The World” EP (2007) and “Stab At Love” EP (2011). Their latest effort was recorded in Radiostar Studios (Weed, CA) with Sylvia Massy (Tool, Powerman 5000, and Johnny Cash) and veteran studio/session musician turned producer Cameron McKenzie.



The title track opens with a xylophone before the rumbling bass takes up the same playful tune and the guitar riffs cascade in and out again. The song deals with the end of a love affair and the realisation that it may have been for the best. “What a shock when you disappeared / Words just lies, but oh so clear / You slammed the door shut, cut my heart in two / Thank God! I realised you’re not the one”.



Next is a charging, blistering riff laden jolt of vitriol “I wanna be a Kennedy / Live my life on the silver screen / I wanna be a Kennedy / Cause everything’s better in the American Dream” and goes on to contrast this with the everyday experience of the working man.



‘Photographs’ is more melodic and could almost be described as a ballad, apart from a couple of short sections of loud guitar. It revisits the theme of love lost, but on a wistful, tender level. “I found some photographs while I was trying to forget you / You’re still the same, but your smile sure has changed / And every day that passes by, makes me think even less so I / I threw the photographs away”.



They finish with the gloriously raucous ‘Holiday’. Now you might be expecting a cheery song about summer and sunshine, but this is about taking a holiday to Hell. Reflecting that sometimes life can be a kick in the teeth “Sometimes you gotta go through Hell / To hear the ringing of heaven’s bell”.



Rating: 8/10



Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

- The Metal Resource


"punk-tinged rock’n’roll, with no gimmicks—just a straight-up formula that has an immediate, positive quality to it."

The Shiny Darks (whatever that might mean/be) are a trio from Houston, Texas, intent on rocking and rolling with the best of them. This EP is their second release and much is made within their biography of the involvement of Sylvia Massey and Cameron McKenzie as producers. To be honest, this means absolutely nothing to me as I have no idea who they are (it’s not like they’re a Mr. Brett or someone a bit more linked to the world of punk), but what is evident is that the job they have done is pretty spot-on, albeit in quite a clinical sounding way for a genre that is more often noted for being a bit rough 'round the edges.

Putting that aside, everything here sounds pretty good: The guitars sound crunchy and in your face and the drums hammer along with a crisp attack whilst the bass rumbles deliberately and effectively through all four songs. Even a kiddie xylophone (or whatever plinky plonky instrument it is) in the title track doesn't sound out of place, and the vocals seem to have the perfect balance without taking over or being lost in the mix.

What does this all produce? The Shiny Darks play punk-tinged rock’n’roll, with no gimmicks—just a straight-up formula that has an immediate, positive quality to it. Opening with “Stab at Love”, the vocals of Paul Mendez initially come across like Jack Terricoth of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, and although that’s where the similarities soon end, there is no doubting that this, like the WIFS, has an element of raucousness to it that I find invigorating.

Followed by “I Wanna Be a Kennedy”, the rock’n’roll punch delivered by the threesome is repeated with another impressive song. “Photographs” is probably the weakest track out of the four on this EP, but still a lot better than some other bands I have listened to in recent times. Perhaps that’s not the best way to consider a song/album/band, but one such band blustered its way through an album and didn't come close to achieving anything remotely on par with this track.

Finally comes “Holiday”, which is more a return to form for the Shiny Darks in terms of keeping up with the first half of this EP and provides a decent bookend for tracks two and three.

Not a bad second release from the band, one that is enjoyable and worth seeking out if you have a penchant for clean-cut rock’n’roll.

- PunkNews.org


"Their hits are amazing and spot-on..."

These guys (and a gal on drums) caught my eye a few years ago at an Objective event in Nashville with theirbrash old school punk attack. Their newest EP, Stab At Love, is quite addictive. They played an energetic set at this year's HM Magazine Showcase during SXSW...their hits are amazing and spot-on (like the title-track and "I Wanna Be A Kennedy"), which are usually driven by a romping bass line and held together tightly by this trio. - Doug Van Pelt, HM Magazine - HM Magazine


"High energy, catchy, and quickly burns its way into your brain..."

"This tune, "Stab At Love" from The Shiny Darks, is high energy, catchy, and quickly burns its way into your brain. It's rock with real guitars, yet it also has that pop sensibility that make it irresistible. Guitars pounding, a dinstinctive lead vocal goes from intimate whispers to wailing, all effortlessly. The song itself is well constructed, and has all the required hooks. A couple quirky touches really put The Shiny Darks over the top."

The Shiny Darks are also an Indie-Music.com Top 25 artist.

- Indie-Music.com


"Raw and Bubbly Punk Rock..."

Live show review:
"The Shiny Darks, a band new to Aftermath, warmed up the crowd with its raw and bubbly punk rock. Seemingly Hot Topic-approved, the band -- singer/bassist Paul Mendez, drummer Gem Mendez, with guitarist Quenton Rockwell -- played a handful of songs from its new Stab At Love EP, of which "I Wanna Be A Kennedy" (not a Kill Hannah cover) and "Photographs" were standouts.

However, it was the band's cover of the Ramones' classic "Blitzkrieg Bop" that won over the crowd." - David A. Cobb, Houston Press

- Houston Press


"Stab At Love is a classic, energy-heavy, anti-love album..."

Stab At Love is a classic, energy-heavy, anti-love album...definitely qualifies beyond the usual level of love records; it's worth listening to, relating to, and above all, feeling for yourself. - AltSounds.com


"I'm digging this!"

Playful, ornery and attitude-filled punk rock. I'm digging this! - Doug Van Pelt, HM Magazine


"TSD are a blast to listen to!"

"The Shiny Darks delivered a classic punk sound with infectious enthusiasm."

"The Darks keep it short, sharp and Shiny!"

"TSD are a blast to listen to! Four songs just isn't enough"
- Kent Matthews, KSBJ/NGEN Radio


"Refreshing tunage..."

This group is a breath of fresh air. Catchy hooks. Great live show. Unadulterated in your face rock n roll! Great stuff! - The Nation of Rockwell


"The Shiny Darks kick ***!!!!!!!"

“The Shiny Darks kick ***!!!!!!! Killer old school punk done right and with great hooks. If you’re a real punk fan the Shiny Darks are a MUST for your collection alongside Minor Threat, The Exploited and other greats.” – Andy Hitch, owner, Madison Amps - Madison Amps


"Solid and Aggressive"

“Solid and aggressive…This is why Dean Guitars proudly stands behind TSD!” – Tony Purnell, Product Specialist, Dean Guitars - Dean Guitars


"Rabble-rousing..."

The Shiny Darks put on a rabble-rousing set of snotty punk rock. They’ve got a great look and attitude.

Doug Van Pelt
Editor, HM Magazine - HM Magazine


"The Shiny Darks kick ***!!!"

“The reason why SilverFox is behind The Shiny Darks is because we love kick*** music and The Shiny Darks KICK***!!!” – Jeff Harrington, SilverFox Percussion - Silverfox Percussion


"One of my new favorite bands!"

"This is in your face thrash punk as real and raw as it gets! One of my favorite new bands!" - Sonia V., host, Indie Rock Show - The Indie Rock Show


"Single Handedly Restoring Punk Rock..."

"The Shiny Darks are single handedly restoring Punk Rock to it's rightful place as the genre 'king' of urgent, passionate, unrestrained expression and entertainment...Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining, Punk Rock done with an excellence that reminds the listener why they loved Punk Rock to begin with," - Ted Bruun, founder, The Extreme Tour


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

It’s rock-n-roll with a kick to the face and a pat on the back. The Shiny Darks’ transcend traditional punk, kick it up a notch, and slam it back down with some good ol’ rock-n-roll fun.

Originally a three-piece, The Shiny Darks’ Paul and Gem Mendez left to pursue schooling and other interests, leaving Quenton Rockwell to man the helm. Quenton, having left a promising radio career to join The Shiny Darks, could not simply walk away. “It wasn’t time to quit. After hearing from a few different people that The Shiny Darks could not go on with just me left…well, that just ticked me off and simply motivated me to prove the nay-sayers wrong. Fuel to my fire, so to speak.”

On the band’s last mini-tour, they met a talented drummer by the name of Chadwick “Chavi” Boswell. Quenton and Chavi clicked and jumped at the chance to work together.

“Chavi was the first person I thought of to ask about playing.”

“Instant yes for me. There was no doubt about it!” said Chavi.

Chavi has toured with black metal bands all over North and South America. After being attacked by a former band and brutally beaten, he awoke in the hospital to find out that he had a bursting tumerous mass in his brain. After numerous surgeries and continuing regular doctor visits, Chavi now has a new appreciation for life and sense of purpose.

“Well I don’t sleep as much! Haha! Seriously, after having to re-learn how to walk and dealing with all of the pain that I had to go through, you change. You change your thinking, you change everything.” Chavi said.

One of those changes is that Chavi, as well as The Shiny Darks as a band, are advocates for “Get Your Head in the Game”, an initiative of the National Brain Tumor Society.

“They do great work. And, we’re trying to do what we can to further that.” Quenton said.

“And it hits close to home for a lot of people, including me.” continues Chavi.

The Shiny Darks are no stranger to guerilla marketing and creating a groundswell of word of mouth. “That’s the only way we can get anything done and it’s worked so far!” said Quenton.

Now, with over 100 radio stations playing The Shiny Darks, having worked with superstar producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash), and being placed on recording projects with members of Motley Crue, Tesla, Poison, Kiss, Megadeth, Mr. Big, Alice Cooper Band, Ratt, Slash's Snakepit, LA Guns, King Crimson, Flatfoot 56, MXPX, and others, The Shiny Darks have just licensed “Stab At Love” and “I Wanna Be A Kennedy” to be on a documentary about the Nashville Rollergirls titled "Hell or High Water: The Story of the Nashville Rollergirls". The film is currently making the rounds at festivals.

"I Wanna Be A Kennedy" has been getting more and more attention. So much so, Tony Hawk and RIDEchannel through Pulse Records have licensed the song to be featured on their videos.

The Shiny Darks are continuing to promote their EP “Stab At Love” and a new project, “Come Together” on the upcoming tribute album “Deuces Are Wild: A Millennium Tribute to Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits”.

The Shiny Darks endorse: Dean Guitars, Curt Mangan Strings, Steve Clayton USA, Fretfunk Guitar Accessories, Pearl, Soultone Cymbals, and Xcel Drum Sticks.