Press Play: The Shivas

Portland four-piece The Shivas have been providing explosive and thoroughly engaging rock and roll music for fourteen years. The band has melted faces around the globe with their often-eerie blend of punk energy and psychedelic garage rock production. The band tracks most of their recordings live and recreate the electricity of a live concert the best that they can before adding any studio magic tricks. Rather than converting a studio creation to a concert performance, The Shivas bring the concert to the studio.

The band brought beachy vibes on their 2014 album You Know What To Do. Mellow tracks like “Beach Head” have Pet Sounds-inspired instrumentals that could almost trick listeners into believing The Shivas are staying laid-back for album No. 4. By song “Manson Girls”, the energy picks up with vocalist Jared Wait-Molyneux howling through the lyrics like he’s in a race against the equally fast-paced guitar.

The Shivas stuck with the laid-back sound on their fifth album Better Off Dead. Their surf-rock material became delicate, dreamy, and sounds straight out of the sixties. The opening title track “Better Off Dead” begins with finger-plucked electric guitar before drums kick in halfway through the song, propelling the tune into a steady stroll.

The Shivas are more ambitious and mature on their latest album Dark Thoughts. It’s a sweet and sinister album that has the band whipping themselves into a sonic frenzy on every track. Clanging guitars, layered vocals, and pounding drums give the album a chaotic yet melodic sound. Unlike You Know What To Do, there are no sunshine sounds to be found on Dark Thoughts. The Shivas use a nightmarish sonic palette to deliver their old-fashioned sixties sound, turning a cacophony into an effective groove.