Shiver - Last Rides Of The Midway - Da' Core Records 2005
13 Songs
Running Time: 40:04

When I think of true, unadulterated punk rock, the first bands that spring to mind are those second-wave bands that were my first experience with both the punk ethos and skating. I'm speaking of bands such as T.S.O.L., Agent Orange, Husker Du (yes, they belong), and Drunk Injuns. At that time, - around 1986 - the lines between punk and metal had blurred to the point that the same people who listened to Metallica also cranked The Misfits, Slayer, and Fear with no regard for "scene" separatism. Well, most of them at least.

It's this feeling that returned when I first pressed Play, and the So-Cal sounds of Pittsburgh's Shiver pushed me back into the days when moshing was a dance and not a deathmatch. Strange as it may seem, a band from Steel City, USA conjuring the spirit of early-mid 80's California skatepunk, Shiver knows of which they speak. From the metallic chordings of opener 'Rescue Me' to 'Anger Rising', with its Bad Religion-esque personal and internal commentary, Shiver never lose sight of the melody inherent in this style of punk. Fear not, oh slamdancer, for the one-two punch of speedpunk 'Voice Of Treason' and 'When Darkness Falls' is sure to be the catalyst of many a pit. 'Brand New History' takes its justified jabs at the American culture machine, while songs like 'Find Your Way' and 'That Sinking Feeling' burst with the self-pride and self-reliance that is the very blood in the punk rock body. Recorded at L.A.'s infamous Stall No. 2 studio under the guidance of punk production godfather Darian Rundall (Pennywise, T.S.O.L., etc.), Last Rides Of The Midway sounds full without losing any of the bite this music demands.

Shiver may be labelled "retro" or "old-school" in some circles, and I think that'd be just fine with them. This is the music they grew up with, and the music that lights the fire in their hearts, so label them what you want. I'm sure they couldn't give less of a fuck. It's bands like Shiver, and albums like Last Rides Of The Midway that reaffirm my faith in punk rock.

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