Virtually unknown outside of the Boston area, local punk faves the Shods are a product of working class Lowell, Mass. With Tippy, the quartet's fifth and finest album, the bandmembers play like their lives depend on it, drafting songs in the spirit of Strummer/Jones, and classic Jagger/Richards. Frontman Kevin Stevenson writes fiery odes to intoxication, like "A Drink To Forget" and "Seven & Seven," plus insanely memorable, could-be hits, like the rollicking "Let Me Go Now," and the countrified "So Low." Paying tribute to the Who circa 1965, "Bobby's Birthday Party" tells the humorous tale of a child's birthday-turned-bachelor party, before Tippy delves into novelty-pop ("Go-Go Dancin'"), rockabilly ("The Devil Came to Town"), and a soulful read of Bert Burns' "Here Comes the Night." Although touring and recording efforts have been sidelined by Stevenson's diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, forcing the group to call it a day soon after this disc surfaced, the Shods' parting shot is a timeless record for punk and rock junkies alike.
by John D. Luerssen