Shyanne - Shyanne

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2022 in Year-1982


ARTIST: Shyanne
ALBUM: Shyanne
LABEL: Shade Records
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2009, Retrospect Records (USA), RR-370
SPONSOR: Retrospect Records


LINEUP: Eric Burgeson - lead vocals, guitar, synthesizer * Lee Perkins - lead vocals, bass, synth bass * Danny Haines - lead guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals * David Christensen - piano, prophet 5, lead vocal (track 7) * Perry White - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Always Just Beyond * 02 Simple Girls * 03 Being Here * 04 I'm In Love * 05 Kool Kind Of Look * 06 Love Is Too Demanding * 07 Wardance * 08 Oh, Jane * 09 Gonna Make A Man Out Of You * 10 Summer Love


Recently we took a look at Seattle based melodic pomp rockers Lightyears. Here's another band from the sunshine challenged city of the Pacific Northwest - Shyanne.

This band, who only released the one album, were formed way back in 1970, and actually spent some time down in El-Lay before heading up to Puget Sound where they made their name on the local circuit.

Originally formed from the remnants of a band called Cold Power, they were first called Cheyanne but thankfully wise heads prevailed and the rebranding to Shyanne was a much better move.

So many musicians have passed through Shyanne's ranks, mostly local musicians, but a couple of standouts included Joe Shikany (Big Horn), Steve Reno (Rynoski), older brother of Loverboy's Mike, plus Scott Rosburg, who has played with Randy Hansen and Striker.

It seemed there was a lot of interaction between many of these bands back in the day, as membership seems to be common among them.

The original line-up included Burgeson, Perkins and Christensen, Gene Nygaard (guitars, vocals) and drummer Howard Walter, though by the time 1982's sole self titled album (originally released on Shade Records) had arrived, the band membership had changed quite a bit, the line up named above were involved in the recordings, plus longtime stalwart of the band Joe Shikany came in to produce.

The Songs

No doubt Shyanne had a few songs to choose from, and had over the years adjusted their style and image to suit the prevailing music scene of the day.

As a result, their songs on the album are sharp pop rockers with a slick edge, a nice fill of keyboards, plus lead vocals sung by each of the three original members. In parts there are moments that touch bands such as Thrills and Steel Breeze.

'Always Just Beyond' kicks off in tremendous fashion. The strutting guitar riff, AOR vocals from Perkins, and a smattering of keyboards in all the right places gets us off to grand start. Second track 'Simple Girls' features a tinker-tap piano motif from Christensen, a simplistic pop rocker with a cool chorus to boot.

'Being Here' is probably a victim of the early 80's era, if you can imagine The Police doing 'Walking On The Moon', or perhaps a track from Billy Trudel's band The City, then 'Being Here' is a close cousin.

I quite liked the chorus heavy 'I'm In Love', which has a whimsical come power pop component in there too. Mix up bands like Orphann and Canada's Photograph for a comparison.

'Kool Kind Of Look' is the odd-man out here, a track veering to the new wave/synth brigade, think Icehouse or Gary Numan doing melodic pop, and you might be getting close. Not a great tune to be honest.

Despite the offputting track title, 'Love Is Too Demanding' returns to the band to form, though only just, It still hiccups a bit with its tempo variations, and the unusual pairing of an insistent synth riff versus a straight ahead guitar part which doesn't sound quite right. However, new guitarist Danny Haines does his best with a solo that would make Ronnie Montrose proud.

Keyboardist David Christensen takes the lead vocal spot for 'Wardance', an unusual track in the overall context of this album. It kinda doesn't fit with the rest, but the track itself is pretty good, and is certainly not rooted to the one-dimensional collective.

'Oh, Jane' sees Shyanne attempt to recreate that power-pop rush yet again. Incorporating elements that are taken from the 1979-1982 new wave/power pop era, I will admit to having heard better.

Same goes for 'Gonna Make A Man Outta You' with its 'heard-it-all-before' ideas conveyed to music. Thankfully, the band end on a high, with 'Summer Love' providing an acoustic/electric hybrid, a happy uplifting tune in accordance with the track title.

In Summary

It wasn't too long after the album that Shyanne eventually fizzled out, with band members all going their own way. Burgeson moved out east and hooked up Foghat for awhile.

Interestingly, former member Joe Shikany auditioned for Kiss when Ace Frehley departed, and is one of a few select musicians to have played with the stack heeled wonders apart from those who have officially joined the band. Shikany was killed in an accident in 2008.

Shyanne still lives on in the current day, now down to a trio, playing covers in the Seattle area, with drummer Perry White now holding the fort. A good acquisition for Retrospect Records, and another moment in melodic rock/AOR history sealed in laser etched glory.

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