Knowing from the start that the label Krazy Punx is a lovingly crafted offshoot of What’s Your Rupture? is helpful when approaching the first full-length from Primitive Futures favorite, Denton’s Silver Shampoo. With WYR? it’s guaranteed you’ll be spinning a record rife with shambling guitar pop, some as sharp as the Fall, some as doe-eyed as Red Kross, some falling somewhere in the middle, akin to Orange Juice on Sparks and Prozac. Silver Shampoo sound conceived of the Brooklyn-born loft-pop the label was first to champion, bands like the nerdish punk of Nodzzz and goofy slouch of Wounded Lion have split what the original gangsters in caUSE-co-MOTION seemingly started on a lark into a varying spectrum from extremely taut to extremely dunderheaded. Where Silver Shampoo fit is somewhat unclear, as there are no lofts in the sweat-heat of Denton. There must be garage keggers and suburban house-parties in need of go-to entertainment. Higher and Higher exhibits all the traits of this toga-spirited genre—the dull (as in butter-knifed), uncomplicated riffs, the tasteful use of repetition, the overall goof of playing this role for the duration of an entire record—and manages to be wholly unique to their environment, as if they’ve never set foot outside of Denton.
Most cities (should) have the quintessential party band. In Columbus, it’s the beloved Tree of Snakes, with simple songs about pure fun. On Higher to Higher, it’s easy to sing the lyrics to the Tree of Snakes’ “Grab Another Beer” atop any one of Silver Shampoo’s quick, rickety bop. That’s not a slight. This isn’t copycat or a three-chord shuffle by amateurs. By imagining themselves as a Denton motorcycle gang, singing witticisms like “Jethro Skull” and the electrifyingly catchy “Streaks of Satan,” the members of Silver Shampoo are free to slack on the (slightly more) seriousness of their other projects (Wax Museums and Bad Sports) and play as dumb as they wanna be. You don’t have to be in on the joke to get the joke and/or enjoy the ride when the tunes are this infectious.
Kevin J. Elliott