Tightrope - Tightrope [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Tightrope [7-inch] (2011)

Big Wheel

Montreal's Tightrope open this six-track EP with a whine of feedback. I have to be honest here, I love that sound. It's almost like an air-raid siren, declaring that all should run and take cover. However, in terms of music, for me it usually indicates that something good will follow. Okay, there are numerous exceptions to the rule and I've been let down more times than I care to mention, but Tightrope do not come into that category.

That feedback is the beginning of "No Sleep", which then progresses onto some solid, almost metallic riffage, before springing into a slightly more hardcore approach for the guts of the track, all of which is well-paced and comes across as a solid opening declaration from the band. However, the next track "Jerry" comes as a slight curveball, as it's much more melodic and a fraction slower than its predecessor. Featuring the excellent line "Honestly man, It's the same shit every time and I sympathise, just don't make your problems mine," this song shows that Tightrope have got more going for them than just musical ability. This is well-played, well-written melodic punk rock with a gruff vocal delivery that tops it off nicely.

The final track before the vinyl gets flipped is "Admit Defeat", which continues in the same vein as "Jerry", although with a bit more velocity to it and displaying more of their tuneful yet gruff, melodic punk rock sound containing some strong personal lyrics as shown in the final verse:

"Settling down is just your way of giving in
If I'm not like you I fucking win.
Admit defeat and let the years chew up
your skin, If I'm not like you I fucking win.

First up on the flipside is "Breakthrough", easily the best track here so far, which again has a punchy quality to it with decent lyrics both to listen to and sing along with. "Gramophone" keeps up the momentum and leads nicely into the best track on this single, "Motherfuckers, Inc". For me this is the strongest and catchiest song here, showing the band at their peak. That's not to detract from any of the other tracks that go before but here is the pinnacle of this release and they cleverly saved it 'till last.

The more I listen to this (and I've listened to it a dozen times today so far) the more I like it–there's a substance that stands out here within the energetic approach, and hopefully Tightrope will be producing more of the same soon. Approximately 148 minutes well spent today!