By: James Goff / Music Specialist
This was all the first stuff I heard from Tigers Jaw, and until the 19th, it’s their most recent full-length. Over a year before the record’s release, three of the group’s five decided they needed to move on. We now know that Brier and Misko helped form Three Man Cannon and McIlwee just did his own thing. However, these three still contributed very heavily to this record, which leaves me completely bewildered. Either way, fantastic music was written, recorded, and released, so I mean all’s well that ends well.
This is the group at its most poppy and in my opinion the only time (so far) that they could really be called pop punk. Brianna Collins’ light vocals are more present than ever. The drums are dialed back, and so is the guitar. Right now, the lyrics and vocal notes are the focal points, which has made for a much different sound, but no lesser quality. The music is still rather heavy, but one is lead to believe they have tried to ensure that they are not labeled as such. A strong example is in Hum, when a dark guitar intro leads into heavy keyboard and Brianna singing about growing apart.
The LP is saturated with self-doubt and unrequited love. Whether it’s the feeling of being lost on Distress Signal or the needing to split in Teen Rocket. But not everything is horribly dreary on this release. What Would You Do? is a very mellow and beautiful song about, this time, much returned romantic interest. Also focused on within Charmer is the pain that all too frequently comes with strong relationships, and two of my favorite songs on the record, Frame You and Nervous Kids, are the best examples.
The record is uncommonly cohesive, though that is a trait which Tigers Jaw has always featured. There are highs and lows, and a decent amount of topics discussed. The music may occasionally blend together, but frequently it does not matter because the quality is worth the similarity. Unless spin, out in just two days, is awful, then I not yet heard a Tigers Jaw record I don’t like.
Favorite Track: Slow Come On