November 15, 2012

The Shivvers - "Don't Tell Me"

I've been on a power-pop bender of late digging deep into the catalogues of The dB's, The Beat and their precursor The Breakaways, Shoes, and Teenage Head. The band I really can't shake though is Milwaukee, Wisconsin's The Shivvers. The group only existed for three years—from 1979 to 1982—and never achieved much commercial success, but if you peep the 20-track Lost Hits compilation released back in 2006, the quality of The Shivvers' songs is staggering. People talk about how power-pop combines the mischievous punk attitude of rock 'n' roll with the crisp melodic accessibility of pop music. That's The Shivvers in a nutshell: "Please Stand By" is all jagged guitars and singer Jill Kossoris' lispy rasp, but the song's chorus sounds lifted straight out of the Top 40; the bouncy "No Substitute" could have fit neatly onto the B-side of an early Blondie single. I've been particularly obsessed with "Don't Tell Me," which kicks off with a few chords of cheesy keyboard before reeling in a swinging off-kilter guitar-drum rhythm combo and a chorus that's as simple as it is deadly and intoxicating: "Don't tell me what to do," sings Kossoris, "I can't live by your rules."

Grab The Shivvers Lost Hits comp via the iTunes button below.

The Shivvers - "Don't Tell Me"

The Shivvers

1 comment:

  1. Always been partial to this one myself: