Inside: Mumble and Shine – The Tom Staton Album

Everyone wonders about the much maligned Mumble and Shine. What happened? Was its reception unfair? Why no tour? Here’s my thoughts… – Finger

Mumble and Shine "The Staton Album" (March 22, 2011)

It certainly came as a surprise to everyone when Mumble and Shine was announced and released shortly thereafter in the Spring of 2011. After a few spins, it was obvious to longtime SHB fans that this was almost a Tom Staton solo album.

There was certainly some truth to it. Christopher House had taken to the hobby of photography and in a quest to photograph all eight (or nine, if you listen to some authorities) Wonders of the World – during the In The World tour. While in the UK, he developed a fungal illness that landed him in a London hospital for eight weeks in the summer of 2010.

Staton, frustrated at the aborted end of the tour, went back to Colorado and in an insane flourish of creativity, wrote and recorded most of the tracks to Mumble and Shine himself in a marathon session on the weekend of July 28th, 2010.

The album does feel like a rush job (see my review here), but there’s still some standout moments on it (“Steptember”, “Another Drama-Filled Day” “Got Nothing For You”). And c’mon, that cover art is freaking bad ass!!!

All accounts say that the rest of the band was so disgusted by the album that they refused to tour behind it, a first for Staton-House. The first plateau had arrived. The band was certainly at the forefront of the new American rock movement, but still, there seemed to be one piece of the puzzle missing.

For a time it didn’t look well. In the course of one week, drummer Steve F. and Christopher House were both booked for DUIs. The signs were all there. A stasis was setting in.

Of course, the band did regroup and we were treated to Sleepwalker and Radio and Windows in quick succession.

Let’s hope that some Mumble and Shine tracks get some love on the new tour. It would be amazing to hear Tom bust out “Letter From A Lover” again….

Mike Finger | The Blue and The Black © 2016