a few nice ones
the clip is the single I guess
the video takes away from the song
makes the list
1.7 from me and not yet rated by the pros at allmusic
from the album - The Simple Song
released Mar 20th, 2012
Bio - from allmusic
A classic guitar pop group almost nine years in the making, Albuquerque, New Mexico's the Shins began in 1997 as
the side project of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Mercer's primary band, Flake. Mercer formed Flake in 1992
with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford; they eventually changed their
name to Flake Music, releasing several singles, a well-received album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and
touring with friends like Modest Mouse and Califone.
Soon after the release of When You Land Here, Mercer and Sandoval formed the Shins as a change of pace, playing as
a duo with Cibo Matto and the American Analog Set. With Mercer as the Shins' primary songwriter, the group
developed a more focused, crafted sound than Flake Music's charming, if somewhat rambling, collaborative style.
Crandall, as well as Scared of Chaka's Dave Hernandez and Ron Skrasek, filled out the Shins' lineup; however,
Hernandez and Skrasek left after a short while, due to the success of their main project. By 1999, Flake Music
essentially disbanded and Langford also joined the Shins.
With a couple of 7"s on Omnibus -- 1998's Nature Bears a Vacuum and 2000's When I Goose-Step -- under their belts,
the Shins embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse. Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman caught the San Francisco date of the
tour and asked the Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually became an
offer to release their 2001 single New Slang and their debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The group spent the rest of
the year touring with acts such as Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. The release of singles such
as "Know Yr Onion!" and "The Past and the Pending" kept the Shins' success going into 2002, cementing Oh, Inverted
World as one of the definitive indie rock albums of the early 2000s and the Shins as one of the style's definitive
By the time the band recorded their second album, Chutes Too Narrow, Langford was replaced on bass by Dave
Hernandez (ex-Scared of Chaka). Chutes Too Narrow was released in fall 2003. The Shins' profile increased
drastically the next year when actor Zach Braff included several of their songs in his 2004 movie Garden State with
one of the main characters going so far as to proclaim that the song "New Slang" would "change your life." Its
follow-up, Wincing the Night Away, appeared in January 2007 and sold over a staggering 100,000 copies in its first
week. The Shins had never before hit higher than number 86 on the Billboard charts, but the album's sales snagged
the guys a debut spot of number two. This was also a record for Sub Pop itself, as the label had only previously
peaked at number 79 with the Afghan Whigs' 1996 album Black Love.
In 2008, the band announced that their contract with Sub Pop was up, and that their next album would be released
through Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label. The resulting Port of Morrow, which featured an all new backing band
that included fellow songwriters Jessica Dobson and Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, and Yuuki
Matthews from the Crystal Skulls, arrived on March 20, 2012.
Album Review - from la times
In the five years since the Shins released “Wincing the Night Away,” frontman James Mercer has ventured away with
Broken Bells, his elegant space-warped project with producer Danger Mouse. On the new “Port of Morrow,” with multi
-instrumentalist and co-producer Greg Kurstin, Mercer lets in more electronica than ever — an invigorating shift.
But the changes show that the Shins, once the poster act of sing-along-and-cry indie rock, is an identity that
Mercer, the only original member left, may have outgrown.
At times, “Port of Morrow” greatly benefits from the filmy pop-electronica details that Kurstin drapes over the
productions, much like he has for Beck, Lily Allen and his own band, the Bird and the Bee. “Bait and Switch” starts
with smeary, disembodied effects and opens up to bubbling keys and a revved-up two-step that propels Mercer’s
distinctive note-bending vocals. On a few other songs, the weak melodies can’t bear out the flourishes and they
For the closing title track, Mercer tries a falsetto that sounds like Thom Yorke crooning in drowsy moonlight. It’s
intriguing but the song never seems to come totally to form. Contrasted with the exhilarating force of “Simple
Song,” you wonder what the album could’ve been if every melody hit its sticking point but still experimented
outside the traditional guitar anthem. “Port of Morrow” feels like an announcement — exciting but unresolved — of
what’s still yet to come.
1. The Rifle's Spiral
2. Simple Song
3. It's Only Life
4. Bait and Switch
6. No Way Down
7. For a Fool
8. Fall of '82
9. 40 Mark Strasse
10. Port of Morrow