MUSIC FROM REGIONS BEYOND
Beyond what, exactly? Beyond sub-Offspring shouting on the beat? Beyond the cardboard cut-out posturing of what they seem to call ‘punk ‘ these days? Not very far beyond, is all that I can say.
I don’t wish to give the impression I think this a terrible album. Far from it. It’s just that, for a guy with such interesting neck ink – and who seems to be capable of some rather high-flown ambitions for creating their best-sounding album (“sonically” speaking, as if one might speak of the way something sounds on a level other than aural) Tiger Army rather fail to step outside of the box. Re-inventing the wheel these guys ain’t. Perhaps a fuller knowledge of the particular pigeonhole in which Tiger Army seem so comfortably fit might allow me to identify how this album represents some kind of evolutionary progress, either for them as a group or the niche in which they operate as a whole. But I just don’t see it.
There are some okay tunes – indeed some of the storming anthems are downright palatable – but it’s all so middle-of-the road. Considering aforementioned body art, this is surprisingly radio-friendly fare and one wonders if the numerous fans Tiger Army have garnered along the way are going to be left asking if the slick production adds gloss where rough-and-ready rawness might have been better left unsmoothed. It’s lively enough, but never really does anything dangerous and utterly fails to live up to the ambitions of invention spouted by lead singer, Nick 13. I may be wrong about how Tiger Army’s fans will react to this, their fourth offering, but there’s certainly nothing in here memorable enough to ensnare the first-time listener.
Music From Regions Beyond is out now on Hellcat Records – though the Hellcat part of this band is very tightly reigned in on this album.