Semi Precious Weapons | Aviation (RedZone)

cd spwIf you are looking to rock, this album is not for you.



After being delayed several times, April finally sees the release of the third full-length outing from Semi Precious Weapons. It seems the band may have grown up a little—but that is not necessarily a good thing. Produced by “Tricky” Stewart, owner of RedZone, this album is more electronic and takes the band in a more pop direction. Gone are the rocking guitars, making way for synths and drum machines. Of the 12 tracks offered here, this album pales in comparison to the band’s first two releases. In other words, if you are looking to rock, this album is not for you.

While slickly produced, Aviation lacks the raucous fun for which the band is known. Songs like “That’s My Friends” lack sincerity, while “Young Love” has a Lady Gaga-ish feel and sound (perhaps owing to the year and a half SPW spent on the road with her). “Never Going Home” takes on a Tom Petty feel, reminiscent of “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” and the tracks “Cherries on Ice” and “Free Booze” sound like a completely different band.

Spotlight tracks here include “Look to the Stars”; “Drink,” which may be destined to be a club hit; and “Scream to the Sky,” a melodic tune with fierce vocals from lead singer Justin Tranter. While there is some “hook and groove” here, Aviation sounds and feels like a different band.

This is not the SPW we are used to. Don’t get me wrong: This band is good—very good. Yet here, they hide behind synths, sequencers, and programmed drums. As SPW fans waited almost a year for this album to come out, such a drastic change in style may not go over well. SPW are a great rock band, and they need to get back to being a great rock band that plays its patented brand of sexy rock ’n’ roll. C- | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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