The Box Tiger - Set Fire (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Box Tiger

Set Fire (2013)

Nice Friends/Cardinal White

Set Fire is the debut album from The Box Tiger, a band half from Portland, Maine, and half from Toronto, Ontario. Their sound is an infectious one, a mixture of Indie and Art Rock, both unique and as the band themselves says, consumable. As a debut album, Set Fire makes it quite clear that The Box Tiger is a band to keep your eye on.

The album has a strong start with “Bleeding Hart”, a song with a catchy rhythm that wastes no time at all in demonstrating Sonia Sturino’s vocal abilities. The album itself does a brilliant job of showcasing her powerful and charged voice - a voice all at once capable of inspiring commiserating emotions and excitement.

Set Fire has multiple highlights, including the aforementioned lead off track, but also the track that gives the album it’s title (“Set Fire To Your Friends”), “Hospital Choir”, and “Knives”, to name just a few. “Set Fire To Your Friends” opens with a quick, memorable guitar riff. It is a very well-crafted song with defined segments, all of which fit together seamlessly to form a whole. “Hospital Choir” is a slower track that builds up, once again making full use of Sturino’s vocal range. The verses are haunting, dealing with the subject of losing a loved one (though the feelings and emotions described are reminiscent of a wider variety of suffering, as well) in a manner that’s both extremely personal and wholly relatable: “I don't wanna leave bed, my limbs are rested, but my heart is tired of beating”. The soft song comes to its crescendo at the end before fading off with what are, perhaps, the album's most unforgettable lyrics: “I’m so sorry that I, I’m not better at all and I can’t be better at all”. “Knives” is a little faster, a little harder, boasting everything one comes to expect of the band.

Set Fire, with its ten tracks, is an extremely noteworthy debut album from a young band. They demonstrate their musical abilities (the talent is clear in the album) and their song writing, both of which only improve upon the other. It’s a catchy album with a defined sound, but each song is unique, different in some key from the one before, so the album doesn't sound repetitive or become boring. With such an enjoyable first album, it will certainly be interesting to see where they go next.