Tigers Jaw

Spirit Desire 7 inch

Written by: PP on 13/08/2009 17:44:29

A little over half a year ago I was introduced to a Scranton, Pennsylvania indie rock outfit called Tigers Jaw through their self-titled record, which displayed an amazing degree of melody in a genre that's often more about subtleness than immediacy and striking melodies. I haven't stopped listening to them since. They've grown to be one of my favorite bands because their sound just doesn't seem to get old. Their warm, melodic expression bordering alternative rock and indie rock ticks all the check boxes for an original and long lasting sound that engages the listener on not just the intellectual level but also on the simple "oh my fucking god that song was awesome" level. I was just wondering when the band was going to release more material for their consistently growing fanbase (that's beginning to show all the signs of Tigers Jaw developing into a cult band), when their new 7 inch "Spirit Desire" landed in my inbox. So does the band continue on their path of success?

The simple answer is: fucking yes. Tigers Jaw are one of the most unique bands in the genre, so as long as they continue to play their warmly textured, highly melodic brand of indie rock lead by Adam McIlwee's breathtaking vocal performance, a lot of things have to go wrong before I'll be willing to give any of their songs a bad rating. The EP opener "Spirit Desire", for instance, displays Tigers Jaw at their very best: it's full of the slowly developing layered melody that the band is known for, where Adam's vocals shine through a heartfelt, intensely emotional delivery that catches on immediately. It's a touching song about feelings towards a girl, which sounds cheesy and is overly done, but lyrically the song is simply amazing. The usage of metaphors and quirky lines makes the song just about a million times better than any given emo pop band's songs about the same topic. As a direct contrast, "We Are Great, There Is Only One (Tigers Jaw)" only consists of four lines cycled over and over again, but that doesn't matter, because the somewhat faster but still sparkling guitar melody takes care of the listener. Plus it doesn't really matter what Adam sings about, his voice sounds incredibly emotional and silently passionate regardless.

Where the former track leaned more towards the rockier approach of "I Saw Water" from the previous album, "Crystal Vision" continues with relatively slow pace similar to "Spirit Desire", trusting in brightly ringing guitar melodies and, again, Adam's ability to variate between calm singing and melodic shouting (that strains his voice just the right way), which makes all the difference in the world. With pipes as unique as this guy's got, it seems really strange that Tigers Jaw hasn't exploded out of the underground into larger fame yet. When "Meet Me At The Corner" closes the four track record by being yet another track belonging to the absolute elite of indie rock, there's little doubt in my mind that Tigers Jaw won't be just a band who writes one good album and then fades away. My lips are drooling for their next release, and so should yours.


Download: Spirit Desire
For the fans of: Balance And Composure, The Get Up Kids, Pavement, Braid
Listen: Myspace

Release date June 2009
Tiny Engines

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