Emerging from Albuquerque at the onset of the aughts, the brainy power-pop band the Shins became one of the key acts in the commercial resurgence of indie rock in the past decade. The band's 2001 debut, Oh, Inverted World, and its entrancing single, "New Slang," made the band a cult fave and the follow-up, 2003's Chutes Too Narrow, boosted both the band's profile and its craft. It was soon after this that Zach Braff's film Garden State infamously touted the Shins as a band that could change your life.
That was too lofty, of course, and probably did the band as much harm as good. The band has downshifted some since, becoming even more an outlet for singer-songwriter James Mercer, with a new cast of bandmates backing him and with the band's latest album, 2012's Port of Morrow, released via Mercer's own Aural Apothecary imprint. Through the changes, though, Mercer's sharp writing and twisty, hooky songcraft have remained constant.
The Shins play Minglewood Hall on Saturday, May 18th, with Ra Ra Riot. Showtime is 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $30.