A hardcore Psychobilly mate of mine recently summed up a "Tiger Army" gig he had attended as like watching "AFI with an upright bassist". With his comments seemingly etched in mind, on first listening to this, the 4th album from The East Bay trio known as "Tiger Army" I have to say, he's not really a million miles off the mark.
But, and this a huge BUT, after repeated listens there is a depth to the 11 songs on "Music From Regions Beyond" that I haven't heard on an "AFI" album since "The Art of Drowning".
So, for the most part, "Music From Regions Beyond" is your typical up-tempo punk rock n roll; driven on the trademark thump of the upright bass, and songs like "Forever Fades Away" and "Pain" really stand out as the ones to stomp your creepers to.
It is on the more experimental tracks like "As the Cold Rain Falls" and "Hechizo De Amor" that the band really steps away from "AFI's" shadow by simply doing what really is not expected of them. "Cold Rain" would not sound out of place in an 80's rom-com flick soundtrack whilst "Hechizo" sounds like a studio outtake from the "From Dusk till Dawn" bar band. The latter track is such a refreshing shift in musical approach that I could happily listen to an album of this stuff. "You listening Nick 13?"
During their eleven year journey from clubs to arenas "Tiger Army" have developed a huge fan in the shape of the Number One "New York Dolls" fan Mr Stephen "Morrissey", and I can see why he thinks so highly of them, as tracks like "Afterworld" are ones the bequiffed one would have killed to have written around the time of "Southpaw Grammar".
What you get for your money in this album is a tremendously catchy set of well-crafted songs that should be owned by every self-respecting rocker with a flat top.
Look, let's forget the fucking comparisons and just enjoy the "Lunatones" of "Tiger Army".
This is essential summer listening for the open topped Cadillac owners amongst us.
4 out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the Tiger Army Website