Most of you have probably not heard of New Paltz, NY, which is just shy of two hours north of NYC. It’s a cool medium-sized college town with a crop of awesome bands from the surrounding area and leading the pack are the charismatic (and fantastically titled) Tiger Piss. The trio is fronted by the badass Lara Hope, a woman whose pipes and fashion sense both equally make her worthy of your attention. Tiger Piss are just the kind of band sorely missing in today’s too-cool-for-school music world. They’re plenty cool, but they also aren't overly self-conscious and while they can rock seriously with no-bullshit lyrics, they can also be downright fun and goofy.
On the serious side of their rock, they start off their second EP with “Control Freak,” about an emotionally abusive relationship, and like many here, it showcases Danny Asis’ guitar chops. Obviously a metalhead at heart, he rarely chords for long, leaving the progressions to Hope’s bass while he nimbly navigates the fretboard with heavy yet catchy riffs. “Rock n’ Roll Sensation” may not be about him, but it might as well be as he takes over the two-part intro, first filling in the gaps with bluesy noodling, then as the double-time kicks in he shreds without getting too showy. Kevin Sharp backs it all up with hard-hitting beats and creative fills, also adding unexpected elements like his second piccolo snare, which he uses snare-off to create timbale-type effects, as in the beat for “The Pancake Song.” Both the title track and “Calculating Gas Mileage for Shlomo” examine different hardships of the rock lifestyle, and the latter has some nice twists throughout, from its herky-jerky verse to the full-bore chorus, and a tempo change in the bridge that nears Black Sabbath levels of sludge.
Back to “The Pancake Song”: Yeah, here’s where things get silly. With lighter guitars and a catchy "whoa-oh" intro, Hope tells us all about what she craves after a night of heavy drinking. And don’t forget the juice, ‘cause she likes "apple and orange and even some fruit punch." Only she could pull off this kinda stuff. Even within this goofy song, they break things down in the bridge with a light guitar tone to showcase Hope’s melodic bass arpeggios and slides. They save the silliest for the secret track, an acoustic country ditty that would be right up Tre Cool’s alley. It’s loaded with cheesy rhymes as it tells the tale of what could be the worst boyfriend ever (“you eat all your boogers and then pee in the pool”) but let’s just say he has a redeeming quality. I leave that for you to discover for yourselves.
Speaking of what only a band with a hot frontwoman could pull off, we arrive at “Vagina Town,” which for many reasons is their most memorable track. Dismayed about the lack of "meat" in this college town, Hope expounds about the female naughty bits in the naughtiest ways, and how each is its own special and unique snowflake: "Weak ones, tough ones / Empty ones, stuffed ones / Vagina Town / Loose ones, hot ones / Your momma’s got one," and we’re just scratching the surface here. The song is also catchy as hell, though (resist the urge to sing it in public) and sports a mean, hyper-picking guitar solo.
Tiger Piss are loads of fun and occupy their own space in the realm of rock, crossing boundaries between punk and metal and serious and silly without flinching. If you’re looking for a good time, call: Tiger Piss.