Tigers Jaw - Tigers Jaw
Record Label: Prison Jazz
Release Date: September 23, 2008
Everyone in the indie music world seems to be aiming for their own distinct sound and the Pennsylvanian quintet, Tigers Jaw are just another mere tadpole in a big lake. With that being said, their self-titled album is very enjoyable and will probably be a big hit for those who are fans of 90's indie rock/emo (whatever it's considered). While their sound draws obvious influence from bands like The Get Up Kids, they do have a pretty unique sound compared some other bands out there today.
There are two sides to Tigers Jaw: the upbeat guitar-driven indie rock side and the deeper more melancholic side, both of which are explored in the opening track, "The Sun." It begins with a few open chords and then slows down into a more sorrowful sounding track, where singer Adam McIwee's cries of "What about your friends? Do they make you happy?" tear a hole through a listener's heart. His vocals go from raw, emotional singing to high-pitched yelps, the former being more appealing. Keyboardist Brianna Collins and bassist Ben Walsh also contribute vocals as they counter McIwee's voice very nicely.
As far as lyrical content goes, this album has its ups and downs. The more stronger lyrics come on songs like "Between Your Band and the Other Band" with lines like, "Hoping showing confidence is going to make you stay and every time you talk, well I love everything you say everything we try to start there's something in the way I'll pass it off," and the weaker ones come on songs like "Chemicals" which begins with the simple line of "We are made from chemicals but what holds us together is much more than that." A good portion of tracks toward the end rely more on the instrumental parts rather than the lyrics, such as "Heat" carrying a great bassline and keyboards in "Arms Across America." The acoustic, "Never Saw It Coming" is a pretty predictable closing track, despite it's name, and a pretty sloppy one, too with McIwee's off-key singing.
Tigers Jaw's self-titled album isn't anything groundbreaking or mind blowing, but it's good enough. The band members all display their talents very well with solid guitar work, catchy basslines, good drumming and emotional vocals, but I do feel that the keyboards could have been used more on this album. Tigers Jaw are still working out the kinks in their music, but they are still a fairly solid and enjoyable band.