On their debut LP, “Travelers,” Shiny Shiny Black, an up-and-coming band from Goshen, combine the sort of road weary Americana of the Drive-By Truckers with the hookey melodic sensibilities of the Eagles. Frontman Nathan Butler has been backing up regional acts as a drummer for many years, but he’s breaking out in a big way with this album.
Listen to the single “Lights On” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about. This song is a lesson on repetition. A three chord rhythm guitar riff anchors the entire song, and the only line in the chorus is “I’ll leave the light on.”
However, much like the Eagles did with “Take It Easy” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” the repetition is endearing, encouraging listeners to join in and sing along. I’d bet this track goes over well live.
Now, these guys are far from a one-trick pony. The songs on “Travelers” go from rugged rockers to introspective, folky tunes. On album closer, “The Prisoner,” Butler weighs the ups and downs of life over a slow-rolling banjo and whirling electric organ. Ultimately, he decides “today is the best day of my life.”
Elsewhere on the album, Shiny Shiny Black explore some Celtic textures with “Lady of the Harbor.” Anna Pasquarello Sherck provides a lively flute, and Butler, sounding almost identical to DBT’s Patterson Hood, takes his best shot at an Irish dirge.
Then there’s the Pink Floyd-esque slow builder “Like A Star.” There’s also a hearty helping of straight ahead rockers like “Love Kill,” “Six Shooter” and “Wayfaring Stranger.”
I’d heard some buzz about these guys, so when an offer to review this album came up, I was happy to take it. Shiny Shiny Black more than delivered. The first spin of “Travelers” left me impressed, and it’s gotten better with subsequent listens.
“Travelers” is due out on April 19, which is Record Store Day. They’ll be performing the night before in Goshen.