Hotter than a cat scratch and thrice as sharp, Shoppers is nothing like the packs of musical sluggards that dominate Marine Corps weight rooms. I feel bad for those of you who listen to the radio and think that rock and roll is a lifeless corpse made up of throaty male bellows and insincere pleas for love alongside predictable innuendo, entendre and penis wagging. But here we have the antidote to that.
The Shoppers’ sound isn’t new, yet it is fresh, reminding the listener of others without giving up its own aesthetic: early Sonic Youth without all the gratuitous noise; Bikini Kill’s drive and sass. Secret melodies quietly reveal themselves, emerging from the degenerate swirl of distorted guitar, atomizing bass and palpitating drums only to fall quietly away.
Silver Year never tests your patience. It’s fast for as long as it needs to be. It rings out with ear-splitting dissonance when it needs to. It’s as beautiful as it is formidable. The Syracuse-based trio doesn’t reinvent the wheel. They cover it in bleach and spin smoke-filled dirty burnouts at the intersection of noise and punk.
Shoppers plays the VFW Saturday, Jan. 21, at 10 PM, with locals Shahs, Memo to Maury and Bad Naked. $5 /$7 for 18 to 20 year olds.