By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Jennifer and Michael Seman, the consummate Denton couple, both in life and creativity, have finally forced their emotionally compelling mélange of rock, jazz and guttural noise to find a home on a full-length album. After CD-Rs, 7-inches and other snippet releases—as well as live shows that hypnotize audiences with both raw sexuality and sweet tenderness—Shiny Around the Edges has found a way to channel all its ghosts, energy and talent into a collection that truly showcases what everyone in Denton has buzzed about for so long.
On "Come Closer," Jennifer pulls out her best PJ Harvey/Patti Smith snarl for a harsh but inviting rocker that rivals her angelic love-mourning of another of the album's cuts, "Glory Glory." And this dichotomy continues in theme, feel and even volume throughout the album.
But Jennifer's not alone in running the gamut: Michael offers a bit of grounding with his simple but strong singing on "Avoidance Theory" (and other tracks too) before he explodes on guitar into a heap of affected notes and noise.
Meanwhile, those who've seen Shiny perform live will be pleased that "This Apocalypse" made it on the album, with its call-and-response vocals, bluesy riffs and almost tribal drum beat. Even better news: With Holy Roller, Shiny has outshined its past releases and come damn close to capturing the vibe the outfit has onstage. In fact, if Holy Roller doesn't make you a believer, I don't know what will.