Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Shivvers

They spelt their name wrong like The Beatles, they played power pop like The Raspberries and knew their British Invasion bands - all pitch-perfect melodies, punchy hooks and tremulous drama - inside out. They should have been bigger than Cheap Trick and anyone who bought a Blondie record would have loved them. If they'd heard them.

Like Big Star, one of their most obvious influences, and any number of Nuggets garage rock lost classics, they flew under the radar. What we've got now is the 11 songs recorded from 1979 to 1981 which would have been their debut album. Remastered and fresh as new paint, this is what a rock'n'roll group sounds like when there are no marketing and A&R departments meddling with a simple and pure aesthetic.

The Shivvers self-released one 7" in 1980, Teenline, which is everything you'd want in a pop single. Wait until you're very rich to buy an original of that, one of power pop's holy grail. In the meantime, Sing Sing's issue of the album - gatefold sleeve, poster, extensive sleeve notes - is worth its weight in blood diamonds.

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