[GARAGE POP] True fans of the Shivas have already heard the songs on their second album a dozen times over, either through seeing the quartet’s sensational live show or by purchasing a copy of Whiteout! on cassette via Burger Records. Now, thanks to the Shivas’ new relationship with Olympia’s K Records and the extensive tour schedule the band always seems to be on, it’s time for the rest of the known universe to get caught up.
On paper, the move
from Burger to K is quite savvy. The former label is a great fit for the
transistor-radio sound of the band’s music. Burger is well-known for
its love of shimmying surf-guitar riffs, reverbed vocal harmonies and
punchy jams that threaten to devolve into spattered psychedelic
freakouts, which the Shivas toss out with ease. K shares that love but
also has a soft spot for caveman skronk and twee. The Shivas certainly
don’t indulge in either of those sounds, but they do feel connected at
times to the thudding swirl of K’s signature band, Beat Happening—check
out the low, Link Wray fuzz slathered on “Living and Dying Like Horatio
Alger” or the organ-punctuated clamor of “Kissed in the Face.” Of
course, given their chosen sound, the bruises of influence are always
going to be visible on the Shivas’ collective person. That the band
doesn’t sink under the weight into pure pastiche is a testament to its
smart songwriting and rascally energy.
SEE IT: The Shivas play Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with Mister Tang, on Saturday, April 13. 9 pm. $5. 21+.