Let's make one thing completely clear: Tsar like to rock. They drink Jack Daniels neat from the bottle. They wear leather trousers, probably without underpants. They've read Motley Crüe's The Dirt and they like girls. Musically they're one half Guns 'n' Roses, one half eighties Bon Jovi and their album includes song titles like 'Superdeformed' and 'The Love Explosion'. That's right: this is hair metal. Like many guilty pleasures, it's best enjoyed in secret.
Because in the right frame of mind it is enjoyable. Having been let go by their previous label, perhaps Tsar felt it was make or break time, because they've fashioned a record that's not short on tunes, albeit big dumb and fast ones. It's no great stretch to imagine 'Wanna Get Dead' one day being all over MTV, such is its power-pop debauchery; it's the sort of song Busted might have come up with if Charlie hadn't left and they had really worked on their vices. Meanwhile, title track 'Band-Girls-Money' is honest about their aspirations if nothing else, but don't mistake it for a pisstake; if irony comes anywhere near this band they'll kick its limey ass.
Unfortunately, like a lot of metal, it does take itself a bit seriously. On 'Straight' singer Jeff Whalen sings 'I'm straight' about fifty times; it's not as if anybody would think he wasn't but if he keeps going on about it they're going to start to wonder. After a while it does get a bit samey; they're annoyed, but don't get in their way as they want to have a GOOD TIME. Still, if music to which you can imagine the guitarist strutting like a cockerel doesn't automatically repel you, there's probably something to appeal here.
7John Winters's Score