Miniature Tigers - Tell It to the Volcano
Record Label: Modern Art Records
Release Date: September 16, 2008
The sheer simplicity of indie, fused with the slightly energetic tongue-in-cheek approach of pop-rock, combine to create a genre that is completely marvelous: indie-pop. Miniature Tigers may not be very recognized in this scene right now, but with Tell It to the Volcano, they're going to enter with a flourish. Relying on a combination of the intimate feel of indie and hooks worthy of any great pop band, they're debut album quickly grabbed my attention and held it ever-so-gently through eleven tracks.
One of the most endearing qualities about this album is that there's absolutely no filler. From the beginning to the end, each track has a place. Starting off with the best track from the album, "The Wolf," it quickly asserts their sound. "The Wolf" starts off with Charlie Brand's soft yet assertive vocals that carry you through the track. The vocal delivery on this track just dares you to sing along, and overall it makes for the catchiest song from the album. Following this is "Like Or Like Like," which opens with the lines "I watched you through your window / I was wearing that dumb sweatshirt / I looked like a girl." While he may not be the next Sam Bean, Brand knows how to craft intelligent, sometimes witty, and always charming lyrics. The rest of the tracks don't disappoint either (try getting the first verse of "Cannibal Queen" out of your head). Each of the songs differ enough to be remembered, but not enough to make any of them not fit on the album.
Coupled with the consistency, the vocals are what really help separate this album from every other record coming out in this genre. Brand's delivery, together with his soft-but-not-too-soft tone, really help set up the mood for the album. The instrumentation carries the songs along well; you'll be bouncing up and down to "Last Night's Fake Blood" and lulled by "Tchaikovshy and Solitude."
If you're a fan of Dear and The Headlights, Death Cab For Cutie, or any other bands with a similar sounds, you definitely need to go ahead and check out Miniature Tigers. Even if you're not a fan of this sound, this album is so incredibly accessible, that just about anyone should be able to appreciate it. If this is the direction that indie-pop is headed in, you can go ahead and count me along for the ride.