TSAR – The Dark Stuff EP

Rating: 8/10

TSAR have been around the block enough to know their music scene by heart. From the seductive décor of the mainstream label houses to the chipped paintwork of lonely and barren studios, they’ve seen it all. So it’s little wonder that they’ve come back with an EP to reflect both the glamourous and the grim in one foul swoop.

The Dark Stuff is perhaps more ballsy than we’ve come to expect from Lojinx releases, what with the mangled guitars and vocal effects and all, but this is by no means a bad thing. Rather the opposite, actually…

Instead, as seldom happens, it toes line between power-pop and pop-punk, but doesn’t snuggle up to the teenyboppers out there. Creating a very commercial pop-punk EP would have been an easy error to make, but clearly TSAR have enough about them to know the difference between clean-cut and candy-coated.  Their balancing act doesn’t stop there, either.

For all the phlegm-hawking, bollocks-to-it-all bravado of the songs, there’s an equal measure of finesse and balladry. It’s the red tie at a black and white party – bold enough for us to notice, but sensible enough not to cause a scene. It’s so good, it has brought me out in metaphor…

So, if you like your power-pop-punk-stuff to be thoughtful but ballsy, look no further. TSAR have pulled off a fine balancing act, resulting in a dose of simple but classy punk.

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