This is a brand new band but they don’t sound like it. Because in a way they’re not—four of the five guys in Shiv Hurrah grew up together in Rochester, New York, and played in a band there in the early ’00s. Ten years, two cities, and one additional band member later, they regrouped in Brooklyn early this year, and early this month released the first results of their renewed labors—a five-song self-titled digital album, available for free, that includes this unknown beauty of a song.
Or call it, more accurately, a diamond in the rough. The production is a problem, and I don’t just mean the mixed-down vocals (which some of course do on purpose). I don’t mind a bit of DIY but the oddly recorded drums are surely more accident than strategy; I suggest not turning the volume too high so that tom that reverberates weirdly every now and then is less distracting. And yet I keep coming back to it, charmed by the relaxed ease of the Wilco-ish groove and, truly, slayed by the strength of the songwriting. What a great great melody, and how quickly it arrives! Most songs need a lot more set-up time, but this one gives us a brilliant, back-door resolution right at the end of the first line of the verse (first heard from 0:44 to 0:46). It’s the kind of resistance-melting melody that enhances the lyrics so that they zing and pierce—get a hold of how it supports the line (1:04) “But I’m the one who taught you how to tie that knot.” Brilliant. Another strong sign is the fact that this homely song from an unknown band offers a great new rock’n’roll lyric, near the end, too: “I never get homesick/I just get sick of my home.” Production challenges and all, front man David Bechle sometimes sounds like a million bucks, and shows me that his new (old) band is well worth keeping an eye on.
“Oh Oh Oh” is the fifth and final song from the band’s debut EP, a digital-only release that is available for free via Bandcamp.