The Shiv - Short Order Crook
After playing together for nearly seven years, The Shiv decided
to grace the listening public with their first full-length album,
Short Order Crook. Short Order Crook's press release states that the
Shiv hail from Joliet, Illinois -- a town famous primarily for
housing Statesville Prison. The press release goes on to provide a
subtle dis towards the band's hometown by stating that at least nearby
Rockford was home to Cheap Trick. Well, hailing from Rockford and
growing up in the aura of Cheap Trick I can say that I would much
prefer to call my hometown the home to the Shiv.
Short Order Crook starts out with a dissonant noise that would most
easily be compared to Hovercraft. But before I could pigeonhole them
into that style, they change styles for the second song and make it
sound like a dissonant Pixies song. This trend continues for the rest
of the album -- the songs share little in similarity except an abrasive
The Shiv mix styles left and right, and end up with an interesting album
that is best not judged by its horrid cover art. Even with all the mixing
going on, somehow Short Order Crook comes out cohesive -- a feat strange
enough for bands that have a similar sound on all songs, let alone a band
that could easily be compared to Hovercraft, Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead,
Gang of Four and the Pixies simultaneously.
Short Order Crook is not a perfect album, though. At 14 tracks, Short Order
Crook comes across as a bit too long -- The Shiv could have easily cut two
or three songs for a better sounding album. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming
of the album is that many of the songs are of the sort that get you rocking
when you listen, but don't stick around in your head long enough to remind
you to hit play again when the album is done. This can probably be traced
back to the Short Order Crook's lengthiness -- there are a few mediocre
tracks that keep you from remembering the really great ones.
All in all, The Shiv have produced a fine debut album, and I would recommend
anyone into dissonant indie rock to check them out.
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