SHINING WIRES: Self-titled: Cassette

The first half of this quick four-song tape is solid enough, but the flip side is where things really take off. That’s where this Denver three-piece starts to stray a little further from their faithful ‘90s pop punk revivalism, giving the last couple tracks some breathing room and bringing in some criss-crossing, emo-inspired guitar work. Overall, though, Shining Wires are loyal to a long tradition of smart, hoarse, melodic punk. Strains of Iron Chic and Lawrence Arms creep in at every other turn of phrase or change of chord. Frontman Casey Yunko has a gruff-yet-sensitive voice you already know well, whether or not you’re familiar with any of his previous bands. This isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw. A well-placed lead here and there can be all it takes to avoid the gaping and unmemorable void that is Hot Water Music-core. Fortunately, Shining Wires put enough of their own spin on things to make the difference between tiringly trite and pleasantly familiar. 

 –Indiana Laub (Snappy Little Numbers)