but what about other people who aren’t friends with them?
lets take a little look at what the critics and bloggers are saying about Tsar…
At first i thought, what the eff am i doing–making an impulse buy based on some guy’s blog recommendation? He talks it up like it’s the second coming. Then i found out why.
TSAR is the reason no one can take bands like The Darkness seriously. When you listen to this album, you feel safe in knowing that you’re not being lied to–or that this isn’t an experiment based on some studio exec’s formula for producing the next big thing. TSAR’s charm lies in their authenticity. They are probably similar to The Darkness in terms of what they set out to do; but TSAR exhibits a comfortable familiarity with their music, they keep their sound raw enough to avoid the hookish post-punk-pop over-production which has now become frighteningly common place, and manage to avoid sounding manufactured like they were spit out of the same machine that asks us to buy Good Charlotte or Simple Plan…
These guys play fast, wicked-clean, are Typhoid Mary, infectiously hooky, do Bay City Rollers meet Iggy Pop choruses and are just plain stupidly good and good fun. With a real lead guitarist who’s thrumming just past warp-speed, obviously a stoked Gameboy adept, and, also, clearly a minion of Satan.
Equal parts Cheap Trick and T-Rex, Tsar are the antithesis of mawkish, navel-lint pickers like Keene or Coldplay; they blithely conjure the sheer esprit and puckishness of the glam-rock/tranny-mascara era: Tsar assuredly does not tsuck.
– bob renstrom
Spin, Band of the Day 6/30/05
Maybe the next best thing to a band that wears its heart on its sleeve is one that declares its priorities through its album title. For L.A. rockers Tsar, it’s a simple triumvirate: Band-Girls-Money. This actually plays out more like a formula: By crafting an ambitiously diverse array of concise, fast, rock’n’roll expressions as a band, Tsar aims to appease the largest number of girls who will, in turn, fork over their hard-earned money on Tsar CDs, concert tickets, and girlie tees. Let’s do the math.
If she sports a mullet and prefers ratty black concert t-shirts, she’s likely to dig the bratty, speedy “Straight”; its punchy power chords and blazing guitar riffs recall latter day rockers like Murder City Devils. Does she crave new wave? Try “The Love Explosion,” with its percolating build-up and keyboard-laced sing-along chorus. Is she a glam princess? “Superdeformed” or “Startime” should do the trick. Frontman Jeff Whalen displays agility throughout, managing to sound very much at home in these varied arrangements, although the album could do without a few wimpy forays towards whiny pop punk predictability. But the real airplane glue holding it all together is guitarist Daniel Kern; his solos lend a swift, defibrillator-like charge at several crucial moments.
So how does the equation work out? Did you show your work? Tsar has certainly been patient for solutions; after releasing their debut on Hollywood Records in 2000, the band was stuck in limbo for some time before signing with TVT in 2004. Answers will certainly come this summer now that Band-Girls-Money is in stores and the band is out on the road. Girls and money: beware!
the critic (reviewing the single):
Rock’n’Roll! Screaming intro by guitar and vocalist! They hail from Los Angeles, but have all the energy and gumption of New York. This is the title track of their second album filled with lyrics by their vocalist Jeff Whalen and guitar histrionics by Dan Kern backed by drummer Chuck Byler and bass player Derrick Forget to explosive effects. This party political broadcast by Tsar lays down their priorities fair and square: Band – Girls – Money. The right order, the right attitude, the right music.
Based on this single track I urge you to listen to their new album and seek out their self titled first album on Hollywood Records from 2000.
– Wolfgang Steuer
Upcoming Tsar Shows
7/8 Spaceland, Silverlake
7/12 Bricktown Live, Oklahoma City
7/16 WKRL Radio Festival, Syracuse
7/20 Springwater Supper Club & Lounge, Nashville
7/23 TT the Bear’s, Boston
7/26 Grand Rapids, MI (10 Bells)
7/31, Buffalo, NY (WEDG-Edgefest)