Published: September, 2006, West Coast Performer Magazine

Recliner "Tranquilizer"
(Poison Pen)
Produced by Recliner
Recorded and mixed at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco, CA, by Aaron Prellwitz
Mastered at Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA, by J.J.

By Michael Fortes

Pop in Recliner’s new disc, Tranquilizer, and just marvel at how quickly the time passes. Some of the brevity of the San Francisco quartet’s second full-length album can be attributed to the presence of a few pieces that clock in at under two minutes, such as the opener, a hopped-up burst of countrified punk rock called “The Great Destroyer.” “She Said What?,” a wild punk assault with humorous screaming vocals up front, whizzes by, even with a false start. Then there’s “Message,” which is literally a 9-second answering machine message.

That stuff is all just lettuce and tomato, though. The meat is in the rock.

The title “Float Away” belies the sound of the song itself — it’s a short, sweet screamer in the mold of the Nick Oliveri era of Queens of the Stone Age, propelled by the bass and a simple guitar riff.

“Little Aeroplane,” meanwhile, returns to an old steam engine train-like rhythm, with a Kurt Cobain name-check to boot. Then suddenly, Kurt’s old rivals Guns N’ Roses are musically referenced on “Do This” — the chorus vocals, sung in octaves, recalling Use Your Illusion-era GNR.

But it’s not all pogo-ready energy for Recliner, as they dig into some slower tempos on the harmony-laden “Leaving Hollywood,” and “Hello Sun,” which can best be described as Nirvana meets sunny ‘60s-style guitar pop.

If Tranquilizer comes off as a lot of fun and games, “Anyone But Me” makes the case that Recliner is ready for a serious mainstream breakthrough. It’s the pop centerpiece of the album, and its longest song at just over six minutes, with a big arena-ready chorus. An edited version with an early fade is also presented at the end of the disc.

Tranquilizer gets points right away for brevity, and more still for the warmth and immediacy of its being recorded and mixed in analog sound. But most of all, the album is a lot of fun. (Poison Pen Records)