Having been a big supporter of The Shins since their beginnings with Oh, Inverted World, I was not altogether joyous when James Mercer decimated the band by axing founding member Marty Crandall amongst others. A parting of ways under such circumstances could certainly be seen as the end of what I loved about the band prior, as it’s hard to believe the essential formula of what gave the band its identity prior could survive such turmoil. And yet, I’ve not lost all hope for Mercer’s upcoming release under the Shins brand, since he seems to have been the driving force all along.
[mp3] Sad Baby Wolf // Survival Guide
While not a particularly strong vocalist, Crandall still has unresolved urges he needs to work out. Following the break from Mercer, Crandall returned to his roots in Albuquerque to rediscover his musical inspiration. With another Shins castoff, guitarist Neal Langford as well as his brother, Crandall formed a new outfit he’s calling Sad Baby Wolf. Thus far, two cuts have been released from a forthcoming full length. It’s clear that Crandall was an essential mix of what made The Shins so excellent. Grab “Survival Guide” to see for yourself, and be on the lookout for more.