Tiger Army - V (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tiger Army

V (2016)

RISE


Nick 13 channels every ounce of Elvis into Tiger Army's new record, crooning and ear-worming -- something cheesy, something catchy and something so resplendent that even if you weren't that big a fan before, you can't help but dig what V offers. Through all the line-up changes and inconsistencies in their past records (not that said inconsistencies were a bad thing), Tiger Army extends their essence and do here what they do best -- persevere through compelling storytelling. 

Their rockabilly sound is on point as ever. The AFI connection's there, the mariachi vibe's there ("Knife's Edge" is such a fucking jam with these Streetlight Manifesto horns) and all in all, you don't really feel the nine-year gap from the last album. With the twangy country aspects of Nick's work also sliding in and exposing how strong his voice has remained, it's pretty clear that they aren't accepting who's still trying to say they're from a bygone era. "Prisoner of the Night" in its piano-driven and low-sax nature is just one of these reaffirming jams. "World Without The Moon" is another poppy anthem that makes its way through your bones and leaves you shaking your hips. Jazzy, jangly with some doowop thrown in for good measure. As expected, Nick's vintage delivery on the mic continues to sell Tiger Army so well. He casts a spell and disarms even more on "Dark and Lonely Night" -- meant for slowdancing as the lights go off in the skating rink. Swaying heads at the end of the sock hop -- Zack and Kelly in a time machine to be more specific. Or Fonz leaving the milkshakes behind and walking out the diner with every single girl. That's what I think is playing off in Nick's mind. 

Each word he drops is done with such bravado and he oozes extreme confidence as Djordje Stijepovic’s bass taps along with Mike Fasano's steady drums to churn out rhythm after rhythm. "I am the Moth" best represents how they collaborate together with snazzy guitars picking apart the quickfire percussion. It's one of their most all-encompassing tracks to be honest. It also reminds us how much it doesn't matter if they slow it down or up the pace to classic rock and roll. V sticks to Tiger Army's roots but wanders just far enough to stretch its arms. Drive through the streets this summer at night with the top-down and wind blowing through your hair. Throw this own and I guarantee you'll feel like an invincible badass. Head to a lookout point. Mash the gas. Or cruise down a hill. Whatever you do, I can guarantee that V will transport you to a time where romance ruled a world that wasn't as fucked.