Posts Tagged The Shivas

Date: January 3rd, 2017
Cate: new releases

Top singles and EPs of 2016

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I have to admit I haven’t listened to or bought as many 45s this year as the last. If you don’t order them straight away it is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of releases and finding a copy before they are sold out. Spotify is useless for singles and many smaller artists aren’t even bothered with it. Instead, I have found most of these on Bandcamp, or Youtube even. Shivas’ “I’ve Had Enough” is really the standout track of the year for me, since it simply has everything I require of a pop song. At number 2 we have a mini-album from Vexx,  which is simply amazing – but also points towards another trend: the ever more diffuse border between what is a single and what is an EP/12″. Since many releases don’t even have a physical format it is also becoming less important to make that distinction. I, however, maintain that albums have to be at least 20 minutes and/or contain 6 or more songs. Some records and tapes on this list have indeed been on other people’s albums list, eg. Peach Fuzz stunning debut cassette. I would also like to congratulate my friend, and owner of Not Unloved, for getting back into the record-releasing business. The label’s first release, by Glasgow group Vital Idles, is sitting pretty at #25.

01 The Shivas – I’ve Had Enough Casino Trash 7”
02 Vexx – Wild Hunt M’Lady’s 12”
03 C.C.T.V. – Piece of Paper and Audiocassette Tape Cristi Califoni MC
04 Peach Fuzz – s/t Dumpster MC
05 Heart Beach – Counting Rough Skies 7”
06 Sheer Mag – III Static Shock EP
07 Straight Arrows – Turn Me Off Rice Is Nice 7”
08 The Side Eyes – s/t Burger MC
09 Snail Mail – Habit EP Sister Polygon MC
10 Soft Candy – Bixarre Luv Pyramids Hozac 7”
11 Scully – No Sense Burger EP
12 The Ar-Kaics – It’s Not My World Goodbye Boozy 7”
13 CC Dust – Shinkansen No. 1 Night School 7”
14 Le Villejuif Underground – Heavy Black Matter Born Bad EP
15 Pleasers – Such a Fool Goodbye Boozy 7”

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Date: March 9th, 2016
Cate: new releases

The Shivas & The Intelligence

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Here is a late find from last year – shockingly I did not know that one of my favourite groups The Intelligence had a new record out. I’d heard that the last one was going to be their last, but apparently not. Vintage Future picks up where they left off and even takes Finnberg back to slightly more experimental ground. It’s another classic In the Red release, with a great cover. Surprisingly, it made few waves. Surprisingly because it’s brilliant.

K Records revealed the first track from The Shivas’ new album several months ago – and the rest of the record is very much in the same vein. That is, more relaxed than we’ve become used to from this fantastic group. Better Off Dead is folky and jangly and considering all the sad things we’ve been reading about K recently, it’s something of a return to form. It’s probably also some of the last recordings done at Dub Narcotic studios, which Calvin had to sell off to pay debts.

Date: December 28th, 2013
Cate: new releases

2013 | top fifteen albums

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, but let’s not jump straight to the dessert. First I’ve got some honourable mentions of releases that deserve a list of their own. These are either records that came out late in December of last year, or really great records recorded by equally great friends.

Bad Indians – …Are On the Other Side CQ
Sam Lunsford – s/t self-released
Gestapo Khazi – The Jewel of the Land self-released
The Resonars – The Greatest Songs of… Trouble In Mind
Beachniks – In Color Neotomic
Sapphire Mansions – Over America 12″ It’s Raining
Amor de Dias – The House At Sea Merge

Now, picking the below 15 from the original shortlist of roughly 85 albums was hard, but there’s definitely no doubt which have been the best five albums of 2013. That’s why this year I’m presenting them in a non-ordered 5+10 list. As usual Thee Oh Sees have had a good year, with a new album that I think actually might be my favourite from Dwyer’s pen so far. They also released Vol. 3 of their singles collection, and an excellent EP called Moon Sick. The powerpop album of the year turned out not to be the new Bad Spors LP (despite opening track “Get You” being absolutely killer) but the debut from Nightmare Boyzzz. It includes one of last year’s best songs, “My Body Breaks Down” from their Younger Siblings split, and also, since Plateaus didn’t release an album this year, Bad Patterns stole the limelight. Fittingly, “Crying In the Limelight” was the best track on the new Audacity record… Cool Ghouls and The Shivas are my best discoveries of the year. And Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel is the latest inclusion, perhaps it will grow on me, or perhaps it will be forgotten as mere psych pastiche. That’s the unfair treatment you’ll have to consider when you’re comparing an album you’ve had 11 months to digest with one you heard last week. I haven’t written anything about either Night Beats or King Gizzard, but you’ve probably caught on anyway. If you feel like you’re missing stuff I recommend following Record Turnover on soundcloud and fb where I share a lot of things I don’t have the time to write about at length. Of course, Night Beats were guaranteed a spot even before I heard Sonic Bloom, since their Malmö gig was purely captivating.

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The Higher State – s/t 13 O’Clock
The Shivas – Whiteout! K Records
Night Beats – Sonic Bloom Reverberation Appreciation Society
Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities Trouble In Mind
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Float Along—Fill Your Lungs Flightless
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Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel – Nico & Her Psychedelic Subconscious Burger
Fuzz – s/t In the Red
Dead Ghosts – Can’t Get No Burger
Cool Ghouls – s/t Empty Cellar
Elephant Stone – s/t Hidden Pony
The Frowning Clouds – Whereabouts Anti Fade
Paul Messis – Case Closed State
Nightmare Boyzzz – Bad Patterns Slovenly
Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin Castle Face
Mikal Cronin – MCII Merge

And that’s it for this year. It’s been a great holiday season reading other people’s list, catching up on heaps of records and remembering just the incredible amount of good music being recorded and released. Even if it’s just a cassette, like the new Goochi Boiz album for example. And I just saw that What Next? released a new tape in May. Please tip me about anything I might have missed in the comments, sometimes you don’t hear your fave record of a certain year until one or several years later. Apart from the releases here in the archives, I’ve been listening a lot to albums from Warm Soda, Running, The Go, Mozes & the Firstborn, Bad Sports, King Kahn, Useless Eaters, Bazooka, White Fence, Black Angles, Crystal Stilts, Psychic Ills, Catholic Spray, Lantern, Audacity, Mantles, Wrong Words, Pastels, Primitive Hearts, Limiñanas, Feeding People etc etc.

A couple of mixes coming soon, as a complement to the lists.

Date: September 25th, 2013
Cate: new releases, rediscovered
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Neo Boys | Sooner Or Later

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Three days before my driving license test on October 18th, this compilation of Neo Boys’ full output as well us unreleased tracks drops on K Records. It’s a double-LP including the post-punk group’s only single and mini-album Crumbling Myths. I’m mostly looking forward to hearing “WWII” in better fidelity. Neo Boys were from Portland, played together with The Wipers sometimes and have influenced current band such as Grass Widow. If I get my license I will buy it, even if the LP won’t fit into the car stereo.

While I’m on the subject of K, I might say that really enjoyed the Shield Around the K documentary – even if The Halo Benders weren’t discussed. It was screened at Krets gallery, curated by Glaswegians Good Press. When I go to Glasgow a week from now, I’ll make sure to pop into Good Press, who now resides in Mono next to Monorail.

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Furthermore, K have released what will turn out to be one of the best albums of the year, also out of Portland. The Shivas’ Whiteout LP is a must for anyone into gentle pysch and folky garage. It was first released on tape (by Burger) just like their first album (Gnar Tapes), and both of them are available on spotify. Or you can just pick one up here. If you like The Spyrals (who also have a new album out) you can’t do without this one.