Tiger Tank

Tiger Tank EP

Written by: TL on 14/06/2012 14:24:14

Unless you grew up musically on early noughties emo there's probably a good chance you will have no idea why it's a big deal that Ladd Mitchell, the main man in Illinois emo rock outfit Park, have returned to music after ending Park in favour of family life back in 2007, forming DIY project Tiger Tank, "a more extended view on what [he] thought Park could have been if [they] had continued". Truthfully I'm not even sure I personally appreciate quite what this may mean to some people, seeing as I was only making my first curious forays into the top layers of the genre during Park's best years, and only learned of them in time to check out their swan song "Building A Better ______", and to this day have a feeling that I wasn't really equipped to fully enjoy it back then.

For those who loved Park or maybe even their inspirations, or those who - like me - have since grown to appreciate the magic of bands like Mae, The Jealous Sound and Saves The Day, Tiger Tank's self-titled debut EP is a gift of the sort that shouldn't be missed for the world. Mitchell handles both guitar, bass and vocals himself on the recording, elisting only the help of Miles Parkhill who is responsible for the drumming, and one impression made on me by this release is that Mitchell is the rare kind of musician that is equally a singer and guitarist. What I mean is that "Tiger Tank" is lush with vibrant and detailed guitar arrangements from end to end, which works wonders, even despite its intricacy, at providing a vivid, immersive backdrop for Mitchell's singing. And as a singer the veteran does a great job as well, seamlessly steering his otherwise thin voice - which reminds me a bit of Saves The Day's Chris Conley or Silverstein's Shane Told's cleans - around the various corners of his registry, sounding like he's constantly pouring his emotions into his lines, yet never like he is forcing things, or being overly dramatic the way some emo artists can otherwise sound at times.

Moreover, what's also pretty special about "Tiger Tank EP" is that it is the kind of record that sounds like it is made only for Mitchell himself, and maybe for his friends, family and perhaps a few diehard Park fans that he has stayed in contact with. It doesn't have that feeling that debut EP's tend to have, of a band straining themselves to be appealing. And despite not jumping through hoops to beckon for your attention, it manages to sound warm, welcoming and attractive regardless. Even at its catchiest moments, which I personally find in "You Leave Jack Burton Alone!", "The Only Monster" and "A Question At Night While Riding With Simon", it's not a record to put a devilishly infectious refrain in your head, as much as it is one that just envelops you like a warm blanket on a cold day, and leaves you with a desire to come back to it soon.

It's probably wise to mention that despite my obvious endearment with Tiger Tank, I doubt that it will sound as impressive to all or even many, simply because it is as content with being a niche record as it is. If you have ever scratched the surface of emo rock however, finding more to like than the weird hairdos and clean/scream combinations that many mistake for all the term has to offer, then this here is a gem that reanimates and revitalises some of the best concepts the genre has brought about. I have, and I'll be listening to "Tiger Tank" for a long time even after ending this article. My humble suggestion is that you listen and consider if you shouldn't do the same.

Download: You Leave Jack Burton Alone!, The Only Monster, A Question At Night While Riding With Simon,
For The Fans Of: Park, Mae, The Jealous Sound, Saves The Day, Moneen
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 11.05.2012

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