Thursday, October 18, 2012

From Cloud 2 Ground Drop Shiny Toy Guns

It's fun rediscovering old friends. Now sometimes things don't come out exactly as expected, but it still, it's never nice to lose touch with someone completely. And even when things don't come out as expected, things may work out in time.

Not to get too introspective here, but this does have a musical application. Back at the turn of the century there were two guys who put out some awesome electronic music, mostly of the trance variety. Their names were Chad Petree and Jeremy Dawson, and together they were known as Cloud 2 Ground. They came out with two albums E-majn (1997) and The gate (2000). They showed up at Soulfest in 2000 to support the latter, and put on a late night trance party that was pure heaven. Then, as far as I knew, they disappeared.

Thing is they didn't disappear. Worse than that, in the ever changing world of electronica, they reinvented themselves. When all you need is a pair of synthesizers, or maybe only one, it's extremely easy to assume a new identity. The witness protection plan wishes it were this easy.

Well difficult isn't impossible, and I finally tracked down Cloud 2 Ground. No, this isn't a Flashback Friday post, though it could be. No, since 2003 Cloud 2 Ground has been in the mainstream as Shiny Toy Guns. Dawson and Petree are the core, and the ever present lead female vocals are handled, not by Tracy Truels, but Carah Faye Charnow, who is more than up to the task. Their first two albums were We Are Pilots (2006) and Season of Poison (2008).

Now, four years later, Shiny Toy Guns come out with, the understated III (2012). Not an unexpected move in the Techno/Dance Arena. Family Force Five's III and III.V come to mind right off.

Things get off to a high energy start with Somewhere to hide, but the big single is Waiting Alone, which is about domestic abuse and abandonment. Watch the official video for the song below. Wait for the big dramatic twist at the end.

The third song, Carrie, is one of my favorites, it being a homage (IMHO) to Painted Orange's Amanda, recorded in 1991. Another two of my favorites are Mercy and Wait 4 Me, which hearken back to the C2G days. Then there is one song made for no other point than to get you to "Shake Your Groove Thang". And for Dance, is there any better reason for a song. That song is Speaking Japanese.

Dawson and Petree set the bar for this year's PVA dance entries. I am going to give III a top notch score of 5 Emeralds. It is the entrant to beat, barring another entry from Lights or another top dance band. The album doesn't come out until the 22nd, so order from Amazon at the link and help support The Night Beat at the same time. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.