Tag Archives: Just Say “NO”

“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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