Active in Ontario, Canada, from 1983 to 1986, TZAR released their one and only album “Players of the Game” in 1985. From the little information I could gather about the band on the web, it’s become a cult classic that is both very hard to obtain and expensive to buy. Lost Realm Records is re-issuing the album now, which contains nine tracks.
The production here is a bit muted, but you can immediately sense an energy in the band as the fast moving track “Don’t Try Love” rolls forward. Vocalist Pete Tahan has a raspy and edgy voice that moves well in a few different ranges. “Heavy Metal Queen” is a mid-tempo number anthem that talks about what many bands of this time had for lyrical content…girls, what else? The chorus is big here with backing vocals. The title track has a little more going on…some acoustic guitars to go along with the electric, and a song where bass guitar has a noticeable presence in the mix. It doesn’t get more Rock and Metal than a song called “Born to Rock.” “We were Born to Rock” is answered in the chorus by “Rock.”
“We’ve got the Right” is a classic song of rebellion, one of the reasons Heavy Metal came to be in the first place. Tahan’s picking hand knows how to work the tremolo bar on what I am guessing is an Ibanez. “One Ticket to Paradise” is really unlike the other songs on the album. Sporting a more mature sound in a slow moving track, it gives the band some more time to explore the songwriting, but it does meander a bit as a result. “Missing you” closes the album, in a tender embrace. It reminds me of some of the ballads that L.A. Guns wrote back in the day.
I hear potential on the album, especially considering it was their first release. But, as it is, I think they are limited vocally and in the songwriting realm. Though some famous bands of the 1980’s made it out of a first attempt that sputtered, and we will never know where they could have gone from here, I just don’t hear enough that would lead me to believe they would have gone on to a long and storied career. But, listen and judge for yourself.
-Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell, Feb 2, 2018
Pete Tahan: vocals, bass
John Tahan: guitar
Frank Tahan: guitar
Ludwig van Guy (Guy Morin): drums