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In 2018 the 4 members of Kansas City’s Shiner made some phone calls. They caught up on their current lives — families and careers — and they also reminisced about 2012 when they re-released their acclaimed album The Egg on vinyl and played sold-out shows in New York, LA, KC and Chicago. Those were some of their biggest shows ever and many in the audience were new to the Shiner fanclub, having never seen the band years earlier. Soon enough the 4 of them – drummer Jason Gerken, bass player Paul Malinowski and guitarists Allen Epley and Josh Newton decided they were not quite finished, there was another life for Shiner they could not ignore. The band gathered together at Matt Talbot’s (Hum) Earth Analog studio in Tolono, IL to write in a lab setting, working out ideas they’d been emailing back and forth. After a few sessions that took place over a year and a half, they sifted through the detritus and emerged with 8 solid songs that make up the new album, Schadenfreude. Despite the hiatus, Shiner have not missed a beat. Gerken is still a drummer’s drummer and his heavy right foot is tied to Malinowski’s distorted-symphony bass. Epley and Newton hew left and right in the mix and worked in lockstep counterpoint throughout the proceedings and leave room for the vocals to enter the mix without overtaking, and instead working as a whole within the strings and skins. The songs on Schadenfreude are not so much an answer to The Egg as some properly timed follow up might, but instead stand on their own after 15-year hiatus. It’s the sound of a 4 piece band with each player finding his place in a book as though he just left the room an hour earlier and picked up on the next paragraph upon return.