the rave reviews just keep coming in for Tsar

photo by raymi

In Los Angeles Magazine:

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

hey tony,

why is TO [Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Terrell Owens] such a douche? and what surprised me even more was that his agent was even more outspoken than he was. what makes these people think that they are bigger than the game and that they can go and fuck around with their team owners and whine like little bitches. favre had it right. honor your mother fucking contract. why can’t players like TO get it through their heads?

– Ryan

dear ryan,

its funny but i get these sorts of questions all the time. so let me answer yours.

perhaps people havent realized it yet, but theres a difference between Black people and white people.

and when it comes to football theres a huge difference, particularily between white quarterbacks and black wide receivers.

black wide receivers are flashy, incredible, loud, emotional, and flamboyant. its almost part of the deal. and what ive noticed is the only people who complain about them are white fans who always want to compare them to white quarterbacks.

terrell owens is loud, has a big mouth, signed a touchdown football seconds after he caught it, ran to midfield to spike a different touchdown football on the star in dallas, got in some controversey for the “nude” desperate housewives commercial on abc…

and if you recall, risked his career a few months ago by limping onto the field at the superbowl and caught 9 balls for 122 yards in a losing effort against the new england pats.

probably because i am a Black man, i find no issue with owens being who he is. infact i find it hypocritical that those who will fill the stands to watch the flash and acrobatics of guys like owens, are also those who will be the first to condemn him when he wants a raise or wants to beat his chest.

it would be one thing if owens didnt produce in the clutch, but bro produced in the clutch.

everyones all, but he has no class, but he should honor his contract, but what example is he being for the kids, etc

and i keep thinking, i dont look to football players for class, most pro atheletes have incredibly short careers so get that money, and heres the example that TO offers kids: if youre going to be flashy and have a big mouth you better back it up.

im old enough to remember when John McEnroe played tennis. and when he did he would yell at the linesmen and the umpire and the fans and once i even saw him yell at the blimp thousands of feet above the US Open.

some speculated that when he did that it charged him up and motivated him and helped him win.

as a sports fan, i want players to be charged up, and i like it when they talk shit, and i like it when they bring a new level of excitement.

it does not turn me on when the big fat white tight end catches a three yard shovel pass and place the ball on the ground. maybe thats your cup of tea but i dont even like tea.

i like the fun bunch, i like billie whiteshoes johnson, i like joe horn, i like randy moss mooning the packers fans, i like the raiders, i like ac/dc blaring from the loud speakers, i like fans booing opposing players, and yes i like terrell owens limping onto the superbowl field at 75% and playing at 100%.

yes i liked joe montana all cool calm and collected, and yes i like brett favre, but i like black quarterbacks hurdling defenders way more. i like those shimmies on the sweeps and the scrambling and the soul. i work all week and sit infront of my big screen on sundays not to see tom brady’s perfectly diagramed short passes but to see michael vick take my breath away – even if he throws up 8 picks.

the best thing to happen to football over the last few years have been randy moss, michael vick, and terrell owens.

you can have tom brady, peyton manning, and ben roethlisberger but i like a little hot sauce on my hotdog.

and i’ll tell you what, i appreciate the white guys on the field, but i pay money for the TOs out there. and because of that he deserves as much flowage as his agent can get him.

now be careful out there.

ryan + flagrant + simpleton + all things christie