Twisting post-grunge into a cheeky glam rock sound on their self-titled debut, the very L.A. band plays around with generic-branded alterna-rock for a humorous collection of songs. There will be no thrashing angst-ridden headbanging going on, for Tsar melts glossy new wave elements with corporate guitar rock flair.
Spirit is largely remembered as a hard-driving rock band based on their biggest hit "I Got a Line on You," so it is difficult to wrap one's head around this bizarro concept record. Originating in the early '70s and reworked for a 1981 release, the science fiction backstory is illustrated by a comic strip (included in the LP) and the disjointed nature of the album makes for a puzzling listen, but man, there are some good songs on there. Proto-disco, Beach Boys harmonies, Yacht Rock bounce, electronic synth noodling, bluesy chooglin' and a chiming Byrds-influenced closer, Potatoland is a grab bag of trippy California oddities.