By Kennedy Enns
CALGARY – Calgary band The Shiverettes’ first full-length album Dead Men Can’t Cat Call has been years in the making. Combining songs they’ve played since day one like “Broken Record” and songs they wrote the day they recorded the album (“Obsessed”), Dead Men Can’t Cat Call shows how the band has grown since their start in 2013.
The Shiverettes became Calgary legends with the release of their song “Stephen Harper Suck My Dick.” Now two years old, the song has helped define the music they want to make. “I know for me, that song changed the style of music I wanted to play because we wrote this angry, fast, punk rock song and it just felt so good. It just clicked for me and I realized, ‘this is the kind of shit I want to write,’” Kaely Cormack, guitarist and vocalist explains.
The Shiverettes call themselves “snotty, feminist punks” and Dead Men Can’t Cat Call shows this in spades. The album combines hard hitting drum beats and rough guitar riffs with songs that speak harsh truths and bring to mind the ideals of the riot grrrl movement.
“Broken Record” starts their latest album, a song which was also part of their very first demo that has now been refined through years of practice. Now a punchy, polished anthem for the band, fans can see how The Shiverettes have changed over the years. “I feel like we’ve grown so much, and we’ve diversified our influences,” lead vocalist Hayley Muir says, “both in our sound and lyrically, we’re more filled with piss and vinegar now.”
“We write songs based on life experiences,” Cormack, says. Many of the songs on the record came from a place of “feeling like we’re being silenced.” Cormack wrote the song “Shout Your Assault” after the “clusterfuck of assault cases” that were happening on both a local and national scale. During the Jian Ghomeshi trial the judge presiding said that “it’s just a stereotype” that all women should be believed when they come forward about sexual assault. Cormack then took those words and used them as fire as her and Muir spit out in one of the verses. “Who the fuck says that?” she asked. The song became an outlet for the frustrating response that communities use when dealing with sexual assault. The track has been met with love from fans and survivors after it was played for the first time at Tubby Dog in November.
“Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this record, that’s why it’s so salty,” Muir jokes. The song “Justice Robin Camp” combines all three perfectly. It uses the lines of “keep your knees together,” and “I know you want to” as a shout against the horrifically sexist language used by Camp.
“Dead Men Can’t Cat Call” is the start of the b side of the album and where the album gets its title from. It opens with cat meows which Muir says is her “favorite part of the record.” Combining the meows of both Muir and Cormack’s own cats as well as the cat meows sent in by fans. “Dead Men Can’t Cat Call” is a threat against those who think that catcalling is ever appropriate. “I’ll smile when you’re dead,” Muir growls on the track.
The Shiverettes recognize the platform they’ve been given: “if you’re lucky enough to have a microphone in front of you, don’t waste that opportunity,” Muir says. “We recognize the privilege of having that microphone, and having that platform, and that voice, and we’re not wasting it.”
Dead Men Can’t Cat Call will be released in vinyl, CD and in MP3 formats. To accompany the release The Shiverettes are also planning a Western Canada wide tour with shows everywhere from their hometown in Calgary to Vancouver, playing with bands such as Power-Buddies, The Garrys and Homo Monstrous.
Dead Men Can’t Cat Call is out March 31st. The Shiverettes kick off their tour that night in Calgary at Wine-Ohs, followed by a stop at The Sewing Machine Factory in Edmonton April 1st. Later, they’ll play Vancouver’s Black Lab on April 13th, Amigo’s in Saskatoon on April 21st, T&A Vinyl in Regina on April 22nd and The Owl in Lethbridge on May 6th.
Amigos, Black Lab, Calgary, Dead Men Can’t Cat Call, T&A Vinyl, The Owl, The Sewing Machine Factory, The Shiverettes, Wine-Ohs