Music Reviews

The Shiv

Short Order Crook

Cosmic Debris

Tragic as it may be, they just don’t make records like The Shiv’s Short Order Crook these days, 1985 arguably being the final year post-punk of this sort was wheeled off the assembly line. And that sort? Try a smattering of doob-ready Sandinista!-era dub Clash, a healthy dose of angular avant-funk ala The Au Pairs and Gang of Four, a shimmering glaze of The Teardrop Explodes’ dark beauty across the top, and an Attractive undercurrent of taut power-pop, and you•re in the Shiv’s (very lively) ballpark. And speaking of The Attractions, the vocals of guitarist Jeff Moore and bassist Mike Marchio alternatingly resemble Elvis Costello on a Robitussin binge, deftly and distinctly lending an air of wry charm to such clever ditties as “Sex Finger,” “Asian Persuasion,” and “Under the Guise of Religion” • something many have attempted but most have failed, and Moore and Marchio succeed grandly. But despite the obviousness of the trio’s influences (maybe not, considering some kids haven’t even heard Nirvana•), again, there•s not much like this these days, The Shiv’s closest contemporaries being the looser, noisier Sunshine and the more restrained, more definable Radio 4, but that’s probably a good, good thing. Please, discerning ears keenly take note!

Cosmic Debris, PO Box 138185, Chicago, IL 60613,

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