The Shivers are the kind of band I feel like I should have heard about before now. Their Americana style of rock is so solid, it sounds like it could come from the ’70s (one of my favorite music decades). The Shivers’s latest album, More, released May 10, sounds like a jam session with greats like The Kinks, Lou Reed, and even Neil Diamond.
Whenever I talk about music, I always come to this question: Where are the ‘great’ bands of today? You know, like the Beatles, or Led Zeppelin? The ones that wrote timeless music that spanned generations to still remain today? Well, I feel like The Shivers have the potential to be one of those greats.
With solid songwriting and instrumentation, More pleases throughout. Each song sounds lovingly crafted and carefully played. “Irrational Love” is catchy and peppy, but with slightly disturbing lyrics about cruel lovers and the fools who adore them. “Kisses” slows it down for a satisfying ballad full of longing and quavering keyboards. Keith Zarriello’s vocals are gravelly and smooth almost simultaneously, bringing a great edge to all of the songs on the album.
“Used To Be” is synthy goodness with affirming lyrics about how bad things used to be and how much better they are now. It’s a new wave-style song that sounds different than the previous tracks. I appreciate the versatility of this band/album. A lot.
photo by Scott Rudd
Apparently, The Shivers saved all of their pennies until they could afford to travel to Manchester, England to record this album in all analog studio. “Love Is In The Air” reminds me of the sweet Brit pop I am so drawn to. The vocal falsetto chorus of Zarriello and keyboardist Jo Schornikow is sublime and wonderful.
I could skip “Two Solitudes,” mainly because it’s very slow in comparison to the rest of the album. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it sounds too new agey for my taste.
“Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars” turns it back up a notch with more solid songwriting and instrumentation. It sounds like there may be a string accompaniment, and you know how I feel about that (I Love It!). I also appreciate the drum rolls along with the swelling chords of the song’s bridge.
“I Want You Back” probably sounds the most modern to me, with more great synthy keyboards and poppy beats. The last track,”More” is emotional and personal, and a lovely capper to the album as a whole.
I really appreciate the versatility and range of this album. The Shivers have made a fan of me with More, and now I want more. Folks in Pawtucket, RI can see The Shivers on June 7th at Met Café. You can get More here. I recommend it.
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