photo by raymi
TSAR is a much-loved L.A. band, on a mission to single-handedly keep the spirit of Hollywood’s famed Rainbow Room alive and kicking, but with a handful of Silver Lake boulders crashing through its windows. Reeking with the rebellion of The Stooges and the glam-pop swagger of T-Rex, Dead Boys, and New York Dolls, TSAR resurrects the ’70s underground with hell-bent determination.
Unlike the Weezer-esque sugarcoating of their debut, this sophomore set is in your face and happy to kick it out as straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll. The songs on Band-Girls-Money are short, sweet, and tight power-pop stabs, with a sashay reminiscent of Dream Police-era Cheap Trick — executed full-tilt on the revved up “Everybody’s Fault But Mine.”
The title track practically kicks the door down and invites itself into your living room. Front man Jeff Whalen’s tongue is also firmly planted in cheek, as his punchy lyrics never cross into serious songwriter terrain, leaning fairly humorous and playful (ya don’t pick a record title like Band, Girls, Money to emulate, say, Rage Against The Machine). Nope, the very essence of the band is summed up in that title — and it’s all about breakneck guitar solos, cock-rock lyrics, torrential drumming, and party anthem choruses to die for.
With infectious rawkers like “The Love Explosion,” “Superdeformed,” and “Startime,” TSAR could easily win over any fans of The Darkness or even Guns ‘N’ Roses, before Axl got all puffy and braided his hair.
Reeking with a combination of the rebellion of The Stooges and the glam-pop swagger of T-Rex, TSAR resurrects the seventies underground with ‘fuck you’ arrogance. Fresh off the heels of their critical acclaimed self-titled debut, the Los Angeles quartet return with another smokin’ 10 tracks. Front man Jeff Whalen struts through the disc backed by raunchy guitar riffs and torrential drumming. The songs on Band-Girls-Money are short, sweet, and tight with a poppy sashay reminiscent of Dream Police-era Cheap Trick. By revitalizing a sub-genre of rock-n-roll that time had forgotten, TSAR stand alone as totally unique in their own right.
J.Mo After The Debauchery
After years of stories about the band, concert reviews, CD reviews and undying praise, I finally checked out the Tony Pierce endorsed rock band Tsar at the horseshoe last night.
I’ve been told that they rock.
“Masterfully mixing glam showmanship with gritty Sunset Strip attitude, Tsar’s “Band Girls Money” is one of the best rock albums so far this year.” – billboard
“it was a runaway train with no brakes. it was the space shuttle with too much nitrous. it was a stampede with too much postage. it was a rock slide of rock, an avalanche of power. it was thunder from so far under that the devil himself knocked on the door and asked if they could keep it down and the crowd thought it was part of the show but it wasn’t and even the smoke machine was smokin.” – busblog
So how could you not go see them when they’re playing just a stones throw away. Assuming you can throw a stone 80km.
And let me tell you Mr. Pierce. You’re right.
Since I’m not a crazy descriptive writer, and since I’m not a musical expert I won’t go into their rockingness, but what I will say is that they’re crazy high energy, yet tight as nuns asshole. They remind me of Billy Talent, but not like Billy Talent. See my descriptive writing talent.
Whatever the point is they kicked ass. So go see them.
Johnny Blaze made the trip with me from his apartment in Port Credit. He’s a dead head and hates everything that’s not part of the jam band scene or influenced by the jam band scene. I knew he’d probably hate them, but he still loves checkin out a live band that he might hate.
We got to the Horseshoe just before eleven to see some band finish there set. “Is that Tsar” Johnny asked to which I shrugged. We had just grabbed a beer when all of a sudden there was music and smoke and Giant flashing letters T S A R coming from the distance which tipped me off that the band I was here to see was starting their shit.
And even Johnny liked it. Short set. Forty minutes maybe.
Afterwards some other band came on. Hot bassist, 14yr old drummer. Ya we left during their first shitty song.
Tonight: Starland Ballroom – Sayerville NY w/The New York Dolls
Tomorrow: House of Blues – Atlantic City w/The New York Dolls
Tuesday 8/16 – Bricktown Live – Oklahoma City
Friday 8/19 – Attack of the Show – G4TV
Friday 8/19 – The Viper Room – Hollywood