Archive for the ‘Shoppers’ Category

Sounds Like Hell: Shoppers

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Sounds Like Hell is an irregular feature on old and new noise rock.

Before every taste-maker and alternative-leaning promoter had Perfect Pussy on their lips, there was Shoppers: a DIY, heavily politicized feminist noise rock trio from Syracuse, NY, who buried sophisticated melodies in a sea of feedback, dissonance and straining, half-shouted vocals. In a little over two years, Shoppers released three records and a split 7? and toured the US relentlessly before breaking up ahead of an east coast tour.

Since then, evidence of Shoppers’ existence has been expunged – their website and Facebook were deleted, along with their frequently updated Tumblr, the platform through which vocalist Meredith Graves achieved minor internet celebrity as an alternative style icon.

Thankfully their Bandcamp remains, and those three records serve as a prototype for the raw hardcore aesthetic that birthed Perfect Pussy’s sound. Graves insists that the bands are entirely different entities – and they are, in the sense that she is the only member of both – but there are more similarities than differences between Shoppers and Perfect Pussy, from the naming convention that carried over to the latter’s first demo release (Roman numerals in place of titles) to the vocal delivery to the continuity-via-feedback between songs.

On Silver Year, Shoppers’ final release, Graves delivers her vocals with an unbridled intensity that’s matched by the rhythmic paranoia and squealing distortion of the music that she screams over. It’s a raw document of what was to come, but one that stands on its own with pride and ease.