“Silver Shifter” By TSAR

I’m a sucker for catchy-pop songs.  What I really love is when a band sneaks up from nowhere and beans me on the head with an amazingly catchy song.  A really good song will implant itself in your brain–a truly great one will feel like it’s always been there. The first time I heard “Silver Shifter” by L.A. rockers TSAR I felt like it had always been with me. The band’s 2000 self-titled album is chock-full of diabolically awesome ear-worms.  It’s the sort of record that plays in your head while you’re trying to go to sleep.  It’s no small feat to write a good song, especially one that feels so fresh but at the same time so familiar.  TSAR’s sound is reminiscent of Cheap Trick, but with a touch more punk and glam.

TSAR, these guys seem legit.

“Silver Shifter” opens with a ringing phone and quick “hello” before exploding into pop bliss.  The lyrics are twisty and rhyme in all the right places.  There’s a sweet guitar solo and cheery hand-claps, what more could you ask for in a great song?  On the surface the song seems to be about a car, but I’m 99.999% sure that the is about a nasty-injectable drug:

Seven is never enough 
Slide her into the stuff 
Slow gun and a colorful flag 
Shift her into the swag 
Silver shifter, shift it out

The slow gun is the plunger of a syringe and the “colorful flag” is a bit of blood, right?

Softer down for the counts 
Love comes in every ounce 
Silver is up for appeal 
Shifter is making me real

Blissed-out junkie poetry with a shimmering guitar hook–that’s a potent combination.  In days past, men would write very intricate poems about God or a sunset, today’s rockstars expend just as much mental energy writing about banned substances. Why are all the best songs about drugs?  Maybe it’s because like God or a sunset, drugs are a powerful artistic muse.  I guess there would be more awesome songs about D.A.R.E. posters if D.A.R.E. posters expanded the consciousness or shaded the gray world a brillant new-hue.

Regardless, “Silver Shifter” is awesome song on an awesome record. I highly recommend both TSAR albums.

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5 thoughts on ““Silver Shifter” By TSAR

  1. Shane says:

    Nice coverage of another forgotten but sort of lost band. I was always partial to Teen Wizards, but this pick ain’t too shabby, either.

  2. Taylor says:

    Well i may be a few years way late with this comment, but i couldn’t agree more about this song.

    I heard it in the background from a short lived show back in 2000 called ‘Freaky Links’. Tracked it down from there and fell in love with the tune.

    Reminds me somewhat of The Cars sound, and in particular a track called Cruiser. Just has that great driving along pop sound.

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