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Tiger Bear Wolf
Hello Records

Aggressive and well-contrived, Tiger Bear Wolf goes straight for the jugular with excellent riffs and vocal lines that pound their listeners into submission with their energy and nonchalant, straightforward rock and roll. TBW represents a regression in rock thinking, channeling old school hardcore and rock influences, thumbing their nose at newer ideas and sticking with rock's tried and true structures. Stylistically they are hard to nail down, I see flashes of The Cramps, and The Rollins Band, even Fugazi, to a lesser extent; but if there were a sound that defines them, it would be low-fi analog rock.

Here's where it gets tricky though, because that specific type of sound is difficult to capture on a disc. That was my biggest disappointment with the album, which is no fault of the band. The band is good, plain and simple, yet the recording does not transfer the energy the band emits. It is always tempting with a band that does well with low-fi to make the recording sound equally rudimentary, but it is a mistake, the recording should still emphasize the proper areas and balance the band accordingly.

Generally speaking, first, the album sounds like it was recorded at one level across the board, there is no flux of drum and guitar at key points, no milieu attempted to bring break out parts forward. And moreover, all of that tenacious energy that the band brings to the table is lost. More specifically, the drums just lose, lose, lose; which is a shame because they are structured beautifully to drive and provide that constancy needed to maintain the rock feel. The guitars appear like an afterthought; even though the dueling nature works well within each song and the riffs are memorable and worth it (although I think the lead should be a little less lead and break away from the constant soloing to emphasize good rhythm changes). The bass wins the most in the production earning a viable place on the record, but ultimately not adding too much to the mix. The dual vocals are perfect for the style of music, but don't attain the edge that they seem to have.

I don't want all of my rants about production to dissuade you from listening to this band; they are good musicians and excellent writers that deserve to be heard, so go find them and listen to them. Now, if only they could be captured with a better recording, I truly believe they would be unstoppable.


Track listing:

1) Something Worth Saving
2) Wrong Lens, Wrong Film
3) Input, Output
4) ---------
5) You Play Guitar
6) I Can't See the Light
7) The Rats
8) Night Shades
9) Bed Down
10) I Think I Heard Her Body Sing

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