The Shivas are a rock and roll band from Portland, Oregon formed in 2006. In the 10 years since coming together they have brought their raucous dance party to almost all 50 United States and over 20 countries worldwide, meanwhile releasing 5 full-length albums and two 7" EPs, on labels such as K and Burger Records. 2016 saw the release of the long-player Better Off Dead (K Records LP/CD, Burger Records CASS - 2/16/2016) recorded by Calvin Johnson at Dub Narcotic Studio. Shortly thereafter came the I've Had Enough b/w So It Goes 45rpm on Casino Trash. These releases were followed by full North American and European tours, including The Shivas first trip to Mexico, where they headlined Festival The End at Foro Indie Rocks in Mexico City.

Cool Ghouls is a rock’n’roll band. A band for playing rock’n’roll – that electric American folk art – without pretense. Think of rock’n’roll less as a genre and more as an action. A ritual performed with electric guitars and a drum kit to conjure a certain youthful spirit.

Inevitably, when listening to Cool Ghouls, you may recall performers of the past, other summoners of this same spirit, whose fingers were also channels through which rock’n’roll was made physical. But this band’s purpose is not to reference, fetishize, or even celebrate these incarnations of rock’n’roll that came before them. Their intention is to animate their medium – bring to life the inanimate framework that is rock’n’roll. Get the kids dancing. Get the floor at the house party to cave in. Not to sound like a rock’n’roll band, but to do what a rock’n’roll band does. A band for playing rock’n’roll.

It’s something the Ghouls know they have not yet entirely mastered. (How many of the numerous outfits playing these days have?) While they’ve certainly managed to convince audiences aplenty at home in San Francisco, along the West Coast, even abroad of their prowess, they are ever honing their blade. Refining an approach, learning to listen more keenly, seeing beyond bullshit, really getting at the essence of not only rock’n’roll, but of that which exists between four unique players – it’s a task to keep a body busy for a lifetime. A kind of four-way collective self actualization.

You might not hear all of this in a Cool Ghouls track. That might be because there’s something about rock’n’roll that you’re missing. That might be because there’s something about Cool Ghouls that you’re missing. Or it might be because the Ghouls have not yet distilled the eternal powers from which they draw into an expression that your ears understand. But make no mistake, this is music about and for the here and now.

Salt Lick

The early 70s were an incredible time for RocknRoll. Music had lost it’s virginity and abuse of all sorts was running rampant. Bands were turning up, de-tuning, and dropping out left and right. Bad trips and other people’s battles were bumming everybody out and the discontent was palpable. These vibes are what informed Salt Lick’s first recordings. Informed and influenced by the Motor City scene as much as the boneheaded side of the American underground, Salt Lick recorded these two crunchy tunes in one short late-night session in a seedy LA neighborhood. Bargain basement beer flowed like wine and you can almost hear the pull-tabs being popped over the hiss of the tape machine. The men of Salt Lick came together over a collective disdain of the castrated rock they’d been hearing and wanted to toughen things up a bit, all while keeping it groovy. “If the ladies ain’t having a good time, no one is.”, one member recalls thinking. This 45 was pressed in a limited quantity of 300 copies, 100 of which on coke-bottle clear vinyl. No picture sleeve necessary. Everything you need to see is on the label. Recorded by Hunter Scztroop and Erik Lake at Black Diamond. Mastered by Jorge Explosion at Circo Perrotti Studios in Gijón, Spain.

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