SHIVVERS, THE: Self-titled: LP

I’m sort of mortified to admit that I wasn’t super-duper in love with “Teen Line” the first fifty or so times I heard it. I mean, it was a nice song and all—a modern-day (“modern” here taken to mean 1980 or so) amping-up of the sort of archetypal 1960s AM radio pop rock that may or may not have even really existed at the time—but I thought it was a little… I dunno… dippy or something. “You’ve got a big black car and a bird that sings” didn’t feel like a clever Beatles reference to me, it felt like they didn’t really have any ideas of their own and were raiding the cupboard for the long-expired ideas of other, more celebrated thinkers. Their other song I knew, “When I Was Younger,” I thought was merely irritating, the type of song a twenty-two-year-old writes when they’re trying to come off as “deep.” It wasn’t until later times when I heard these songs in the context of their entire body of recorded work that I had to stop and say holy fuck, this is a fucking BAND right here. I mean, all their songs are good. Even, in retrospect, “When I Was Younger.” This remixed/remastered update of the posthumous Sing Sing Records collection is rock solid one hundred percent the real deal solid gold brass from stem to stern, daddy-o, and Jill Kossoris’s jingle-singer-meets-nasally-rasp vocals (and songwriting!) are nothing short of impeccable. One of the top ten power pop albums of all time! Accept “No Substitute!” BEST SONG & SONG TITLE: (tie) “No Substitute” and “No Reaction.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band violates period-specific “one striped shirt per band photo” rule by having two band members in striped shirts in every photo. Rev. Nørb (Rerun / Bachelor)