Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw

Written by: PP on 06/03/2009 17:42:32

Tigers Jaw play an intriguing hybrid of highly melodic indie rock and alternative rock with quickly changing time signatures from medium-fast three chord punk rock to multi-dimensional, textured, mood-setting ballad material - this done often in the blink of an eye. Adam McIlwee's vocal tools include emotionally charged vocals bordering the emo/post-hardcore genres without straying away from the distinct indie rock sound. A case could be made here for a rare Brand New comparison...there are definitely not enough bands who reference the brilliance of Brand New. In other words, "Tigers Jaw" brings forth a strong, yet still distinctly mellow, exceptionally well-layered sound with occasional faded-back keyboards throwing in that extra melody-line on the background.

Sometimes there's the acoustic guitar interlude contrasting the high-pitched croon of their main vocalist, placing nice highlight on McIlwee's superb vocal performance. see "Plane Vs Tank Vs Submarine" for a good example. The song leads directly the opening lyrics of "I Saw Water", sung in a back-chillingly emotional manner that shouldn't leave anyone cold. Especially the final passage in the song deserves to be mentioned here: "I woke up feeling unbearable, when I drowned in my swimming pool, you thought it was an accident, I just can't get along with you, but me.. well of course I liked you". "Chemicals" opens with a similarly heartwarming line "We are made from chemicals, but what holds us together is much more than that", which is strangely catchy even though it's sung in such a melancholic manner. Then there are the simple but oh-so-effective lyrics of the album closer "Never Saw It Coming:" "I learned a lot about falling in love when I fell out of love / I learned a lot about being a friend when I was alone / I played with fire and burned it all down / I've made more mistakes than you can count". - throw in a woo-hoo semi-gang chorus at the end and I don't know about you, but I'm completely sold.

It's a sad melody dominating the entirety of the album. Things get so emotional at times that it's possible to re-live the darkest moments of singer Adam McIlwee through his voice. It's as if he leads us through his emotional universe, and the only props at his use are his warm, high pitch cry and subtle lyrical references, where the difference between him and so many other indie/emo vocalists is his melancholic tone throughout the record. Not surprisingly, "Tigers Jaw" is a huge grower of a record, the songs are retardedly catchy, but since they aren't particularly poppy, it takes quite a few listens before the record fully opens up to you. Personally I consider that a sign of quality, as such albums tend to be the ones that last the longest as well - that's what makes the difference between Tiger's Jaw's debut being a great and merely a good album.

Download: Between Your Band And The Other Band, I Saw Water, Chemicals
For the fans of: Brand New, Polar Bear Club, Two Tongues, Say Anything
Listen: Myspace

Release date Fall 2008

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