You Love You
After 2008's We Love You and now You Love You, it would seem Semi Precious Weapons are quickly exhausting all the possible permutations. The same goes for their music. It's an approach as uncomplicated as Toby Keith's patriotism–a fist-in-the-air glam act, with a dash of garage-punk, wrapped a trashy pop ethos reminiscent of Mötley Crüe. Lead singer Justin Tranter sets the tone, looking like a sneering Billy Idol in Ziggy Stardust drag, his strutting tenor channeling the earnest ardor of Pat Benetar's "Love Is A Battlefield." He's ridiculously over-the-top whether repeatedly intoning "sticky" with perverted glee on "Sticky With Champagne," or swaggering through "Put A Diamond In It" like Perry Farrell's Nothing Shocking-era love child.
When wondering how seriously to take these Andrew W.K.-worthy, meathead party anthems, it's perhaps important to know the original quartet was comprised of Berklee School of Music grads. So one assumes a level of self-conscious irony, though there's no nudges or winks, just high-energy, big hook, rather mookish rock. However silly it might seem on the surface, Tanter submerges himself so completely in the grimy tattoed and leather-clad rocker role that you want to cut him slack despite the predictability of the cliché.
The only real regret is that they didn't offer a little bit more; there are only nine songs on the disc, including two lame, sentimental ballads ("Look At Me" and "Leave Your Pretty To Me," which sounds like Celine Dion), and the nearly six-minute jam-ridden excess of "Rock 'N' Roll Never Looked So Beautiful." Fortunately, the rest of the time they stick to the formula at which they excel. Tracks like the aforementioned "Party Hard"-style rave-up "Put A Diamond In It," the disco-garage "Magnetic Baby" and the glam-boogie theme song "Semi Precious Weapons" all sizzle with vibrant carefree enthusiasm that's infectious. (You'll want to get your shots.) It's best when you don't think too much about it, and just let the zipper-down power chords, double (barrel) entendres, and painted-on decadence wash over you. They go down easily, with a "that's what she said" smirk on their face. But drink up before it loses its effervescent charms