Don’tcha Know?

Spiv plays the Riff Raff Rock Club at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25.

“Spiv” is a British slang term generally designating a neighborhood small-time hood. He’s not “bad” as a person but occasionally gets fingered for fencing stolen merchandise and such. In this case, “Spiv” designates Chris Barber, and his latest CD from Pop Sweatshop suggests many “borrowings” from numerous pop rock sources.

Title track “Don’tcha Know” is the Sex Pistols, only with tight vocal harmonies. These last are helped mightily by producer and Posies songwriter Ken Stringfellow, who also plays bass and keyboards on many tracks. “VIPs of the Street” is Lou Reed backed by a white Brit rap-rock band.

But most of the tracks happily remind one of brainy British songsmiths XTC: “Seedy Release,” with its meandering, acoustic guitar driven folk-rock starkness and Barber’s Andy Partridge-like vocal observing, “Without words/ I don’t understand nothing”; “Not for Years,” with its on-the-beat Beatlesy guitar riff and nigh Shakespearean quip, “Struttin’ your hour out on stage/ Like a poor player”; “Goddess Surprise,” with its crunchy guitars and desirous “I want to see the goddess appear in your eyes”; and most XTC of all, “When We Wake Up.”

Worth a listen.