After an aching absence from the world, Semi Precious Weapons is back in full force with a brand new album called Aviation that is about to be dropped on April 8th. Since their last album You Love You, the band has toured on a couple high profile spots, opening for Lady Gaga on the Monster Ball tour, and then for Ke$ha on her Warrior tour. On the Ke$ha tour last summer they even played a set of nothing but new material. A risky move, but it completely worked and the guys had the audience won over quickly.
SPW just released an EP to preview the album, also called Aviation. There’s some noticeable differences this time around. In the time since YLY, the band has a new label, RedZone, and brought keyboards and a pop production sensibility to their sound. “Aviation High” is the lead single and video. This isn’t “Magnetic Baby” at all. It has a backwards (sounding at least) guitar line, a real atmosphere giving the song some space, and driving rhythm section. After a couple listens it really got under my skin, as it has a seedy underbelly feel going on in there as well. The video (below) just highlights the sinister side to it.
The band has learned a lot since the last album. These songs have that something that could make either a fan of rock & roll or a fan of pop equally love them. “Look To The Stars” has a stomping swagger to it and is a song about seeing the positive and always looking up. “Drink” is probably the one that’s going to grab the most attention. Simple, effective, catchy as hell.. at the surface. One might think the song is a product of new producers being in the mix. Until you do a YouTube search and realize SPW has been testing this song out in their setlist for a couple years now. The glam fabulous trashiness of their early crowd favorites meets the catchy singalong feel of a Ke$ha track. Sometimes you pick up some influences and it just works.
“Never Going Home” is definitely going to turn into my late night driving song of choice. This one also is about 50% new influence and 50% SPW of old. Especially some of the quieter moments for some of us that have their early EPs. And Justin Tranter still writes like Justin Tranter. Thank goodness, because he can get certain things across in lyrics just right.
The one song not on the EP, but released as a tease to fans last year and now listed as being on Aviation‘s tracklist is the bombastic “Cherries On Ice”. The band finally wrote a Lil’ Kim song and rocked it like they meant it. I could say the song is tongue in cheek, but who am I kidding? It’s hard rock glam meets hip-hop by way of “The Big Beat”. And whether or not the subject matter applies to you or not, it has one hell of a groove. I am glad that SPW has embraced some new sounds and is moving forward instead of staying stuck running in circles repeating the past as some bands do. Under the gloss, the manic energy of Justin, Cole, Stevy and Dan shines through. The guys have produced a strong new set of songs with more to come. Big thumbs up and I can’t wait til the full album drops!
Pick up your own copy of the Aviation EP HERE
Check out these videos and performances of the new songs:
“Look To the Stars”
“Never Going Home”
“Cherries On Ice”