Feels So Good // Feels So Bad hits so many points on my music appreciation compass that when the vocalist demands "tell me that you love me" on the third track I immediately do just that. And when she pleads "baby don't go" two tracks later I shake my head and assure her that I'm there for the full 13 songs and a few repeats. The album is the creation of Portland, Oregon's The Shivas. The quartet has made a lot of good music in the last decade and a half, but this LP, their seventh, may well be their best. In any case, it is my favorite. The band is well known as a lively, danceable, garage/psychedelic force. And while they have lost none of the punch and sass that earned them a legion of fans, on this album they more openly express a range of emotions and display matured songwriting.
The versatility The Shivas deploy on Feels So Good // Feels So Bad almost makes the 'garage/psych' tag seem silly. They adroitly mix upbeat garage bangers such as "Feels So Bad", "My Baby Don't", and "Rock Me Baby" with girl-group throwback gems such as "Tell Me That You Love Me" and "Don't Go", and guitar pop such as "If I Could Choose" and "For The Kids". The hooks are plentiful and the choruses are a highlight. The guitars and rhythm section are superb (the drummer may owe his set an apology for the abuse it suffered in "My Baby Don't). According to my analytics this is one of the two albums I have played the most in the past four weeks, and I expect that to continue.
Feels So Good // Feels So Bad is out today via Tender Loving Empire.