Tigers Jaw - Tigers Jaw (Cover Artwork)

Tigers Jaw

Tigers Jaw: Tigers JawTigers Jaw (2008)
Prison Jazz

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

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

New bands almost never live up to the lofty comparisons to other, more seminal bands made by people like me, but that's not gonna stop me from telling you that this self-titled full-length from Tigers Jaw is probably something you'd like if you're into the Get Up Kids or any other `90s emo band. Jus.
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New bands almost never live up to the lofty comparisons to other, more seminal bands made by people like me, but that's not gonna stop me from telling you that this self-titled full-length from Tigers Jaw is probably something you'd like if you're into the Get Up Kids or any other `90s emo band. Just fill in the blank, really. And while Tigers Jaw may be nodding to their influences, they're doing so inconspicuously, offering a fresh take on a genre that should have gone bad years ago.

The band relies heavily on crunchy, mid-tempo instrumentation that's just warm enough to evoke without overdoing it. The driving nature of the opening bars of "The Sun" makes it a great first track, and the deliberately darker, heavier sound of the rest of the song is a bit off-putting at first, but starts to make sense after a few listens. Those dual low/high vocals are a nice touch, too. Ditto for the charmingly discordant "Arms Across America."

Speaking of vocals, they get pretty raw and vulnerable on "Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine" and "Chemicals," both of which feature some solid guitar work in the form of weeping, goosebump-inducing solos. Strong vocal harmonies and bouncy guitar work carry both "I Saw Water" and "Heat" to heights other bands would have a hard time reaching. The vocals do get a tad sloppy on the uptempo "I Was Never Your Boyfriend," but it's more endearing than distracting.

"Between Your Band and the Other Band" is the magnum opus of this release, a near-five-minute track that runs a gauntlet of different sounds and, by association, emotions. The chord progressions utilized here are simple, but perfect in conveying the somber demeanor of the song. There's also a simple keyboard part that adds an extra layer of warmth underneath the crashing drums (seriously, I don't think I've ever heard more cymbals in one song) and distorted guitars.

Ironically, "Never Saw It Coming" is the token pseudo-acoustic closer, rife with vulnerable, slightly off-key vocals and some gang "whoa"s before the full band kicks in for the final 45 seconds, drums crashing like there's no tomorrow. And since the record ends after that, I guess there isn't.

Tigers Jaw isn't a record that will blow you away with gusts of originality, but for a debut, it's a more accomplished and enjoyable record than many of their contemporaries could ever hope to muster.



People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Wonder Years - The UpsidesJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Polar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just DisappearPropagandhi - Supporting CasteThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangBalance and Composure / Tigers Jaw - Split

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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.
moistphily (May 5, 2011)

So damn good I will never ever ever ever ever ever get tired of listening to this. Daily.

TheWalkingTargets (January 7, 2011)

I love this band.

Floggingmicah (July 6, 2010)

I love this record. Near Perfect. They say "Friend" or "Friends" like 93 times throughout the whole album.

exitenglish1208 (June 9, 2010)

great record.

acris (July 13, 2009)

Why is this so good?

4x4Grimreaper (February 8, 2009)

I've been listening to this stream for months and it still hasn't gotten old.

martinNZ09 (November 23, 2008)

I cannot stop listening to the stream - top stuff

nocigar (November 19, 2008)

diggin this. "I Was Never Your Boyfriend" is really really catchy. "I Saw Water", "Meals on Wheels", "Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine" are all great too.

crackpotdemagogue (November 19, 2008)

i'm totally stoked on this record and echo the sentiments expressed by franco below me. i ordered it a week or so ago and can't wait until it arrives on my doorstep! awesome!

Blackjaw_x (November 18, 2008)

I would normally turn away from vocals like these in a second, but the instrumentation kept me listening and it turns out I like the vocals a lot. They aren't all that whiney, and they're clearly passionate. He's not forcing the vocals, he just sings and sounds that way. And the dual vocals helps a lot.

I can't believe there was no mention of Meals on Wheels in the review, it's my song of the month(s) easily. I'm also not sure if your band comparisons are very good. I actually hear some Latterman influence or something, not so much the '90s emo because of the instrumentation.

I know 10 is a hefty score, but this is one of my favourite records of '08. Great walking music, and I walk a lot.

franco (November 18, 2008)

I'm really really really digging this. First band of this kind that I feel this way about in a while. I urge everyone to check this out.

genebuonaccorsi (November 18, 2008)

i really really really cant stand the vocals.
reminds me of Park.

mikexdude (November 18, 2008)

This shit is sick.

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