The Tigermilks - We Don't Stand a Chance [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

The Tigermilks

The Tigermilks: We Don't Stand a Chance [7-inch]We Don't Stand a Chance [7-inch] (2011)
Facepalm / Silver Sprocket

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Twee may not be tru punx, but don't tell that to the Tigermilks. The duo of Mitch Clem (bass/vox) and Jeoaf Johnson (guitar/drums) recorded a session of Belle & Sebastian covers in the great pop-punk tradition back in 2007. Four years later, the seven-inch, dubbed We Don't Stand a Chance, is finally.
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Twee may not be tru punx, but don't tell that to the Tigermilks. The duo of Mitch Clem (bass/vox) and Jeoaf Johnson (guitar/drums) recorded a session of Belle & Sebastian covers in the great pop-punk tradition back in 2007. Four years later, the seven-inch, dubbed We Don't Stand a Chance, is finally seeing release, thankfully, on Facepalm Records and Silver Sprocket.

The blue ??n' white A side opens with a Fat Wreck-style take on "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying", from 1996's If You're Feeling Sinister, that manages to improve on the original. Clem nails the chorus hard and nearly sells the idea of toughening up Belle & Sebastian's sound with this take alone. "She's Losin' It", from 1996's Tigermilk, is a little looser and more straightforward. The background "bop" vocals are a little sloppy, but they complement the arrangement.

Side B pulls another round of tracks from Sinister and Tigermilk. "My Wandering Days Are Over" and "Judy and the Dream of Horses" are both a little more refined compared to "She's Losin' It" while still maintaining some No Idea-esque grit. Basically, these tunes recall just about any band that's ever played The Fest, only with Stuart Murdoch's lyrics. Weirdly, these tunes translate awfully well to pop-punk, and not even in an ironic Punk Goes Rap or Indie or Whatever the Kids Like way. It's legitimately good and not a novelty (well, not completely, anyway). Pop-punk consists of nasal vocals, distorted guitars and songs about failure. The Tigermilks have that down and draw inspiration from an unlikely source, proving that the distance between twee and pop-punk isn't as great as some may pretend (looking at you, Pains of Being Pure at Heart).


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
wearestillalive (June 17, 2011)

Oh, that same friend would also argue that B&S are to twee what My Chemical Romance are to emo. They take their twee seriously.

wearestillalive (June 17, 2011)

I have a friend who will happily argue that Twee is essentially Riot Grrl for boys. I mean, it's not as simple as that, but that's the most basic way you can look at it. I'll have to try and find some of the stuff he wrote about it.

ultracore (June 17, 2011)

"Um, does no one realize these are Belle And Sebastian songs? And covered pretty poorly, I might add." ?? Scott Heisel

BTW, its available for mail-order right here:
http://www.silversprocket.net/blog/we-make-stuff/mitch-cle m-store/
Pressing of 500 on baby-blue vinyl. Thanks for reviewing it!

sketchyjoe (June 17, 2011)

I've been listening to these songs since they were first put online a couple years ago and I haven't tired of them yet. Probably wouldn't call them pop punk though, despite their origins they fall pretty squarely within the category of straight-up punk rock for me. They're rougher and less simply-structured than most of the stuff I'd consider pop-punk.

I do agree that twee and pop-punk have a thin dividing line. There are definitely some Tullycraft songs (Our Days in Kansas, Rumble With the Gang Debs) which are calling out for a punk rock treatment and at least one (The Punks Are Writing Love Songs) that straddles the divide already. The similarities probably stem from the fact that you can trace both back to the same origins, one directly lifts from the silly fun and airy freshness of 50s doo-wop, 60s girl groups and beach pop while the other wants to be the Ramones who took those 50s/60s bands and played their songs twice as loud and three times as fast to emphasise the wild teenage yearning of those songs.

Also, I'm starting to suspect I have a different definition of the word nasal than everyone else.

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