A club sensation in their native N.Y.C., Semi Precious Weapons have steadily raised glitter-laden eyebrows since the band's garage rock-y 2008 independent debut, We Love You. They even nabbed a coveted opening spot on controversial pop diva Lady Gaga's 2010 Monster Ball tour. In truth, the pairing made sense, as Gaga actually opened for the band in 2006 before she was famous. Cut to 2010, and Semi Precious Weapons deliver their sophomore effort and major-label debut You Love You. Once again featuring the vocals of six-foot-tall, ambisexual frontman Justin Tranter, You Love You plays as an amped-up version of We Love You. In fact, the band included re-recorded versions of their anthems "Semi-Precious Weapons" and "Magnetic Baby," originally released on We Love You. The move makes sense in introducing the band to a wider audience and the slightly bigger/polished-fuzz of You Love You's production does nothing to detract from the original versions. Admittedly, a few tracks such as the plodding "Statues of Ourselves" and the slack "Rock and Roll Never Looked so Beautiful" often seem like a lot of flash and personality minus a great pop hook. Ultimately though, tracks like the Led Zeppelin-meets-T. Rex nugget "Put a Diamond in It" and the bratty AC/DC-inspired "I Could Die" are truly ass-kicking rockers that balance Tranter's snotty, glittery camp with the band's legit, hard rock ballsiness. And while snot'n'roll is pretty much Semi Precious Weapons bread and butter, Tranter's epic latter album ballad "Leave Your Pretty to Me" is a bittersweet love letter to all the fan girls he's never been able to love before, but for whom the album's idol worship-invoking album title truly takes on a reflexive and yearning irony. He sings, "Girl, go ahead and drink, cuz I can only be so many things. But when you leave, please leave your pretty to me." If You Love You is any indication, Semi Precious Weapons have plenty of pretty, dirty rock & roll to go around.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar