Tiny Plastic Stars
The Top Hat is happy to welcome The Sheen for a live concert performance at the Top Hat on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
About The Sheen
The Sheen is a quintet occupied with the creation of curious sonic structures haphazardly disguised as rock music. The Sheen’s origins trace back to their former organist/vocalist Kelsey and guitarist/vocalist Riley moving into Riley’s dead grandma’s Chevy wandering around the Pacific Northwest, they eventually wound up in Bellingham, WA, where the group currently resides.
There, Riley met Justin (a New Jersey transplant and bassist) in a park and discovered a mutual love of Anthony Braxton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, obscure Russian classical music and rock bands such as The Jesus Lizard. The pair wrote a trove of gross chromatic music on nylon string guitars in the park until Riley found employment on a shellfish farm, Justin got a job as a cabbie, and they both moved out to the quiet suburban neighborhood in the woods known as Sudden Valley. They began playing amplified music with drum kits and electric guitars which resulted in eventual eviction.
The Sheen draws inspiration from pataphysics, Charlie Chaplin, Cinema, avant-garde jazz, psychedelia, noise rock, and West African music. The group often utilizes jarring contrasts, unpredictability, harmonized guitars, electroacoustics, and free improvisation, without completely discarding forms or songwriting techniques common to rock music. The Sheen is punk rock, rigorously rehearsed through the lens of dada.
The group has played a number of shows around the Puget Sound, and they recorded their debut album in the fall of 2017 at The Unknown in Anacortes. They will be embarking on a West Coast tour in August, and are in the process of writing and recording a new album. The current lineup features Justin Benz on bass, Kellan McLaughlin on guitar, Riley on guitar and vocals and Brock Muench alongside Jonathan Sherman on dual drum kits.
Tiny Plastic Stars
Tiny Plastic Stars, as a thought, began mid-2014. Riley Roberts, the band’s lead, was in the studio with Ryan “Shmedly” Maynes discussing the formation of unique musicians to start a recording project. Soon thereafter they decided upon Tiny Plastic Stars; currently comprised of Riley Roberts on vocals/guitar, Alex Smith on guitar, Dan Miller on drums, and Jacob Ballengee on bass. They took songs from Riley Roberts’ acoustic folk projects under the moniker “Lige Newton”, and reworked them into powerful psych-rock ballads. Since their creation they have opened shows for a handful of touring bands like My Goodness, Quick and Easy Boys, Mobina Galore, S, Panaderia, Blackwater Prophet and Diarrhea Planet to name a few. The lyrics sung by Riley Roberts in a beautifully haunting manner combined with the powerfully driving guitar riffs capture the listener, and leave them with a sweet nostalgia. It’s nostalgia that Riley himself has felt, but leaves you to believe it as your own. Tiny Plastic Stars is an impressive display of musicianship, as well as a captivating experience emotionally.
In late 2015 Roberts and Miller had found themselves faced with a decision they had hoped to never come to. Two of the original members were no longer able to continue on dedicating the time they had to Tiny Plastic Stars. After several lineup changes, they had landed a new bass player Josh Bacha, and carried on as the three piece psych-rock power trio they had hoped to be. In late 2016 they were approached by Jacob Chadwell, Owner of Levitation Recording and Tapes, with an offer they could not pass. He was soon to assist Roberts in producing their debut record “Sleepy Eyes”.
Their new album was released to the public on June 20th 2017.