Formed in 1985 by luminaries from the Boston hardcore scene, Slapshot is part of the secret history of American rock ’n’ roll. With the release of Michael Azerrad’s book, “Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991,” and the essential film documentary “American Hardcore,” it’s a history that’s becoming better known. But during the early to mid-’80s, you only knew about hardcore music if someone let you in on the secret. Though it isn’t as infamous as some better-known groups from the era, Slapshot continues to represent the distinctive regional sound for which the Boston scene became known. The band brings its pounding, slightly metal-tinged accelerations to Strange Matter on Thursday, Jan. 23. New Jersey surf punks Nightbirds and Richmond alacrity pushers Barge and Friend or Foe open the show. Doors for the all-ages show open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. strangematterrva.com.