The Impaler Speaks
Tsar - The Dark Stuff EP

Tsar – The Dark Stuff EP (Aderra)

Have you heard? Tsar is back. Wait a second. Reset. Have you heard?! TSAR IS BACK!!! Yes, the power-pop monsters from Los Angeles that – alongside such contemporaries (and tour-mates) as Marvelous 3 (of course I threw in a Butch Walker reference… why wouldn’t I?!) – made the late 90s and early-to-mid 00s such a fantastic time for groovy guitar rock with massive, sugary hooks, are back, back, back with a brand new EP! ‘The Dark Stuff’ consists of five tracks, each more infectious than the last. ‘Punctual Alcoholic’ kicks things off with a slinky bass-line and oh-so-hazy-California vocals that are strongly reminiscent of a band that I actually annoy my friends by referencing even more than Butch Walker (believe it!) – Dada, a completely indispensible trio that I beseech all of you to seek out music from just as soon as you have firmly secured this new Tsar release in your shopping carts. This song is sheer perfection in all areas: vocally, lyrically, rhythmically… and dig the underlying guitar licks, which pretty much make up a song-length solo that sits just low enough in the mix not to overshadow anything else going on – and there is a lot going on! ‘Police Station’ – an ultra-bouncy slice of power-pop that is equal parts Cheap Trick and Dwight Twilley – ups the ante with a faster tempo and another huge hook. The third track is ‘Little Women’, which aligns itself more closely with the opening track with its jazzy rhythms, layered vocal harmonies (seriously, is Michael Gurley’s voice in the mix somewhere?!), and happily psychedelic feel. The fourth track – ‘White Lipstick’ – owes more to vintage New York Dolls and the fuzzed-out sounds of early 70s Australian power-pop, which is to say that it is as sexy, sizzling, and satisfying as any collection of sounds could ever be. The EP closes with ‘Something Bad Happened To Me’, on which the band – Jeff Whalen (vocals/guitar), Dan Kern (guitar/vocals), Jeff Solomon (bass), and Steve Coulter (drums)… yes, the original lineup is back in its entirety – offers up a true testament to the church of psychedelic power-pop with a Spector-ish wall of guitars and vocals and snappy beats that not only serves as a tribute to the pioneers of power pop, in every shade and hue, but also manages to conjure up visions of classic tunesmiths as diverse as Thin Lizzy and Steely Dan in the process. How excited am I about this news? Tsar is back!!! The Impaler @impalerspeaks

Tsar online

Twitter: @RockGroupTSAR

  1. lojinx reblogged this from theimpalerspeaks and added:
    Great TSAR review
  2. theimpalerspeaks posted this