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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Shiv
Short Order Crook
Cosmic Debris

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
If today's music is a hot summer's day, The Shiv is a glass of lemonade. Short Order Crook is a refreshing introduction to the bands talent and a promise of great things to come. Their music breaks boundaries that have held hard and fast for decades. After hearing this record, I'm left wondering why so few bands have crossed these lines. The Shiv make it sound so natural.

Where to begin? The late '70's seem like a good place. The beginning of the disco era is where we find one of the major influences that surface in Shiv's music. The beats and electronic experimentation are infectious and intriguing. Make no mistake, there are some very modern elements to the electronic drum beats and synthetic bits of this music. A slight Devo-like silliness blends with a pop and power reminiscent of INXS. These things are just the primer, the base coat of what The Shiv is all about.

At the heart of it all, there's a catchy, sometimes rockabilly sounding guitar. It's operated by Jeff Moore, who undoubtedly knows what he's doing. Live drums, along with electronic ones, create spacious head-bobbing rhythms that can turn on a dime. Basslines fortify the drum chops. The low end of the music is diverse and never boring. Sometimes punk, sometimes funk, sometimes pulsating, distorted, or psychedelic, but always interesting. Vocals lay back and let the music do the talking for much of the record but, when Mike Marchio, along with Moore, decide to sing, they do it in a style all their own. That '70's sound is present here as well but it's camouflaged in the package created by the music.

Marchio and Moore are the songwriters. Maybe they pair up and write as a team, or maybe they each do their own thing, but it works. The record flows from song to song like a good record should. It holds interest by crossing those lines mentioned earlier and keeping listeners on their toes. Punk abandon tangles with a pretty and intelligent pop sensibility. David Bowie would be proud.

Titles like "Beirutabegah", "Sex Finger", and "Listen, Frank" can provide comic relief and proof that the band does not take themselves too seriously. This record shows the remarkable potential of The Shiv in their diversity and ability to combine styles and create a freeflowing and well structured album. Look forward to hearing more from this Joliet, Illinois trio.

Reviewed by Ryan Guffey

See other reviews by Ryan Guffey



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