20 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the title reveals, budget beverages and Harley Davidsons weren’t Milwaukee’s only cool exports. Lost Hits also makes good on its claim by compiling an impressive 20-track collection of The Shivvers’ self-released 45 vinyl, live recordings taped off soundboards, random demos, and previously unreleased studio sessions. The Shivvers were an anomaly in the power pop realm. Fronted by singing keyboard player Jill Kossoris, The Shivvers stuck to their power pop guns even when it was more fashionable (and lucrative) for female-fronted bands to hitch a ride on the neon bandwagon at the dawn of the early-'80s new wave movement. This may have kept The Shivvers from churning out radio hits, but songs like the confectionary “Teenline” and the catchy “No Substitute” suggest the band was aiming to craft perfect guitar-pop melodies. The Shivvers were really good at blending '60s British Invasion guitars (dig the Rickenbacker and Vox-amp combo in “Please Stand By”) with energetic, American teenage urgency (check out Kossoris’ raspy sneers in “When I Was Younger").

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the title reveals, budget beverages and Harley Davidsons weren’t Milwaukee’s only cool exports. Lost Hits also makes good on its claim by compiling an impressive 20-track collection of The Shivvers’ self-released 45 vinyl, live recordings taped off soundboards, random demos, and previously unreleased studio sessions. The Shivvers were an anomaly in the power pop realm. Fronted by singing keyboard player Jill Kossoris, The Shivvers stuck to their power pop guns even when it was more fashionable (and lucrative) for female-fronted bands to hitch a ride on the neon bandwagon at the dawn of the early-'80s new wave movement. This may have kept The Shivvers from churning out radio hits, but songs like the confectionary “Teenline” and the catchy “No Substitute” suggest the band was aiming to craft perfect guitar-pop melodies. The Shivvers were really good at blending '60s British Invasion guitars (dig the Rickenbacker and Vox-amp combo in “Please Stand By”) with energetic, American teenage urgency (check out Kossoris’ raspy sneers in “When I Was Younger").

TITLE TIME
3:42
3:47
3:14
3:24
2:31
2:57
4:19
2:38
2:07
2:39
2:58
2:32
4:15
3:43
2:40
3:15
2:49
2:22
6:00
5:20

About The Shivvers

The roots of Milwaukee power pop outfit the Shivvers lie in In a Hot Coma, one of a series of local bands pairing bassist Scott Krueger and drummer Jim Richardson -- Krueger's girlfriend, aspiring singer/songwriter Jill Kossoris, also played keyboards with the group in its final months. After In a Hot Coma split in 1978, Krueger formed the Orbits while Richardson signed on with local punk unit the Lubricants -- meanwhile, Kossoris teamed with guitarist Mike Pyle to form the Shivvers, and when their respective bands dissolved, Krueger and Richardson joined the lineup as well. Guitarist Jim Eannelli completed the Shivvers' roster, which honed a repertoire of pop classics both familiar and obscure -- Kossoris' originals rounded out the set list, and the group soon entered the studio to record her "Teen Line," issued on the Fliptop label in 1980. In addition to gigs in support of the Romantics and Iggy Pop, the Shivvers earned the endorsement of one of their heroes, ex-Raspberries frontman Eric Carmen, who even expressed his desire to produce their planned LP. After Eannelli resigned, former Orbits guitarist Breck Burns signed on in time for readers of the Milwaukee Journal to name the Shivvers' the city's best band of 1982 -- at this point the group began mulling a move to a larger market like New York or Los Angeles, ultimately settling on Boston instead. After a handful of final hometown gigs, Pyle and Richardson packed up and relocated, but Kossoris began suffering health issues, and after Krueger opted to enlist with L.A. combo the Wigs, the Shivvers disbanded. Kossoris, Krueger, Richardson and Burns reunited in 1989 to record one more single, "Remember Tonight" -- not long after the session, Burns was diagnosed with leukemia, and the disease claimed his life in 1993. Kossoris later relocated to Nashville, working as a songwriter and in 2001 issuing a solo LP, Invisible; in 2003, the Hyped to Death label issued the Shivvers retrospective Til the Word Gets Out. ~ Jason Ankeny

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