By: James Goff/Senior Writer
Two years after Belongs to the Dead, Tigers Jaw had accumulated another two musicians and was ready to release a new LP. After picking up bassist Dennis Mishko and drummer Pat Brier (both now members of Three Man Cannon), former drummer Ben Walsh was able to move to guitar and vocals alongside Adam McIlwee. With that change came the sound that is now Tigers Jaw.
I totally messed up my first evaluation of this LP. I had listened to it once and then turned it on again while typing up this review and had it nearly finished when realized everything I thought about it was wrong. This is the last of Tigers Jaw’s current releases that I have listened to and despite my initial disappointment it is a fantastic piece of work. While a few of the early songs aren’t as spectacular as one would like, there’s more than couple downright bangers. Despite a somewhat ill-fitting added intro the group’s re-recorded The Sun is fantastic for a third time. The new song Chemicals is heart-gripping but fluid, with slow drums and lazy chords. Another track from Belongs to the Dead makes an appearance, however my favorite song from the 2006 album is almost entirely changed with the exception of about two lines of lyrics. HEAT features a wild bass line and equally fun guitar progression. Another strong song off the self-titled is Arms Across America, with one of Brianna Collins’ more involved keyboard parts and some fantastic vocal teamwork between Walsh and McIlwee, who finish the song with fantastic back and forth lyrics. There is one song off this release that I heard before some other material: Never Saw It Coming. The final track is one of the best, an intimate ballad featuring McIlwee and an acoustic alone, with exception of some backup vocals yelling “Woah,” for the first two minutes of the two minute 35 second song, before being joined by the whole works.
I am very lucky I gave this LP a more wholehearted listen, because the first impression could not have been more inaccurate. Some of the songs on here are just phenomenal, and this truly is where the group grew into the sound they have today.
Favorite Track: Between Your Band And The Other Band flows real well