Sound — 10
Wake up and smell the hairspray kids, 'cause these guys have risen to save rock n' roll. And, well, it's about damn time. Robin Black and the IRS, (and they have since dropped the Intergalactic bit, but for technicality's sake, I'll include it here), released this debut quite a while ago, and I've still got the music floating around my head. Probably the most heavily made up rock group since Motley Crue circa 1982, these guys have some serious talent to back up the image. Their sound puts a cosmic spin on glam rock, not unlike good ol' Ziggy in his heyday. The wicked riffs combine with catchy melodies to create an album that you'll never manage to peel out of your stereo.
Lyrics — 8
Robin Black is certainly a confident fellow, as we already have gathered from his ambitious pledge to save Canadian music. And that, er, healthy ego definatly shows through in Planet Fame's thirteen tracks. By turns sleazy, clever, and often simply over the top, the lyrics cover all the usual bases of sex, drugs and rock n' roll. And then, there's always a few digs at the glam image of the band. "You say you love me/And that you'll be true/But how can you love someone who's more effeminate than you?," taunts Black, in the track entitled (duh) "More Effeminate Than You." Throughout most of the cd, his vocal skills hold up pretty well, although they get a bit shaky during the closest thing the cd has to a ballad: "Take Myself Away." Luckily, the band makes up for it with some stellar "Oo-lalalalalala's" in the background. The two live tracks at the end of the cd showcase a heavier sound, and Black's vocals really scream here. Unfortunatly, I have to knock the repetetive-ness of "Better Than You". Not much to this song lyrics-wise, although the sound is great.
Overall Impression — 10
As you can see, I have very little to complain about with this album. This band has got it all: ambition, talent, a wicked image, and now, a more than decent record. I love the attitude, love the swaggering lyrics and the candy-coated, cosmic image. Others may not love these so much, but their drive to be the best rock band on the planet demands some amount of respect. I doubt I'll ever get "Suburban Sci-Fi" out of my head, but it is one of the catchiest tunes on the album and therefore, I forgive it. This cd is incredible. Anything that can last a few years in my stereo without my getting sick of it at least once has got to be incredible. Stay tuned for their next album, "Instant Classic," which hits stores Feb. 15 this year!