Valerie Rojas
Editorial Director

There is good news for music fans that feel they are being stifled by the average cookie cutter rock ‘n’ roll bands taking over today’s airwaves. Relax, kids. The Stivs are here.

With their second full-length release “Sweet Heartache and The Satisfaction,” Portland, Ore., based band the Stivs have resurrected a breed of 1970s punk rock that nearly died with the birth of MTV.

Set for release on Boot to Head Records this June and produced by Jack Endino, best known for his work with bands like Soundgarden and Nirvana, “Sweet Heartache and the Satisfaction” is less like a breath of fresh air and more like a slap in the face.

From the first opening army chant of “hear my commandments of rock” to the last scream of “movement, movement,” these boys spend thirty minutes delivering over the top raunchy rock ‘n’ roll as it should be: fast, loud and stylish.

With a sound best described as AC/DC meets the Ramones with a little Johnny Thunders and Hanoi Rocks sprinkled on top, the Stivs lure listeners in, assuring them that they will indeed “be knockin’ your lights out.” There is an obvious New York Dolls influence in nearly every lyric, especially the makes-me-blush “Crossbow Love,” and in my opinion, that’s not a bad thing.

Despite the said influences, the Stivs remain true to their own sound, delivering a raw, no-frills freshness all their own.

Overall, the album is of high quality with near perfect musicianship. The vocals of lead singer Rockwell have improved from the band’s first release, “The Beat is Loose.” He belts it out as if he has gained much more confidence, which is probably the case considering how great these songs actually sound. Every song is tight, perfectly timed and even the cross fading action fits right in; each song is blended together perfectly.

The most amazing thing about this release is the fact that it was recorded in a measly two days and that it sounds better than many releases that can take twice as long to record– not bad for some boys who are not even signed to a major label.

For fans of the pure rock ‘n’ roll of yesteryear, The Stivs are definitely worth checking out and “Sweet Heartache and the Satisfaction” can win a slot in any rock ‘n’ roller’s record collection.

Although this release screams satisfaction, it is indeed the Stivs’ live show that steals the spotlight. Every show is an open invitation for those in the audience to join this five piece on stage. As founding member Cliffy said, “We like when that happens.”

With snarls aplenty, blood-splattered instruments and a wardrobe that can make even the most fashion conscious person a smidge envious, the Stivs prove that they know the importance of their performance.

Catch the Stivs live this fall on their West Coast tour, beginning in October. But first, be sure to pick up “Sweet Heartache and the Satisfaction.”

For more information about The Stivs, their upcoming album release and fall tour, visit

Valerie Rojas can be reached at

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Posted May 20, 2005