For starters, Tigers Jaw is an up and coming indie/punk band from Scranton, PA. They have a full length and several EPs including splits in their back catalogue. The best way I know how to describe them is to take the Get up Kids, early Brand New and the Ergs! and then blend them together. One of my favorite aspects of their music is their production. It’s a very punk style production that maintains a live feel to it as well. You are not going to hear many of the latest studio fluff on their records. They are straight and to the point. The best example of this is the fact their latest record, Two Worlds clocks in at just over 25 minutes for 11 songs. One song comes in at over 3 minutes. Again, straight and to the point rock and roll.
The album starts off with a very brief, but upbeat song in Return clocking in just under the two minute mark. It also features some nice guitar riffs. Coil/Recoil and Smile are little slower in tempo with the former featuring some nice female backup vocals from Brianna Collins. Smile is my least favorite song on the album as I felt the vocals sound a bit forced. However, Let Go/Trashed Floors is an upbeat track that features some good drum work by Pat Brier and bleeds seamlessly into Test Patterns, which keeps the upbeat tempo going, and some good guitar progressions and bass lines. Interesting part of this song comes during an extended outro where the tempo and feel completely changes and left me a bit confused. The song, Windmills is a good example of previous Tigers Jaw work that features their rough, melodic and upbeat style.
The album takes a quick turn to new territory with I Saw the Wolf. This song is an acoustic-driven song with some introspective lyrics. The song sounds and feels like something by Owen, American Football or newer Brand New, especially with Brianne’s backing vocals adding the extra
layer of vocals. It is an interesting song, but sometimes I think the vocals could have been done differently during the verses. Buona Pizza follows and picks back up to the upbeat sound, but pretty dark in the lyrics department. Overall, I thought was one of the stronger songs on the album.
Static is the second to last song and is one of the more indie songs on the record and is also one of the stronger songs overall. It features a passionate scream a little after halfway that that takes the song to another level. I could see this song fitting in nicely in their live set somewhere. Thank You, Noah Lowry closes the album out and like the last few songs is another strong song, but not sure how I like it as a closer. Like most of their songs, this one just kind of ends. While I normally don’t mind this technique, I do think a song that properly closes out an album would have been more pleasant. This album is already under a half hour so just ending the album could send bad vibes to some listeners that don’t listen to a lot of punk or hardcore where this is commonplace.
Compared to previous releases, Two Worlds is a step in a new direction while still keeping their signature sound. Some days they are more punk and some they are more indie. One thing that stands out within the first few songs is that there is a greater presence of keyboards. It is not overwhelming, but it is more substantial and impactful. I think it works well and has a Get up Kids vibe to it. Perhaps my favorite aspects of Tigers Jaw are their guitars and two vocalists. Adam Mcllwee and Ben Walsh have very similar voices that are distinct, but it makes for an interesting dynamic. Overall, this is a solid album by an up and coming band that is very hard working. If you are into indie and or punk music and are looking for something new, I highly recommend giving this a shot.
Also, I believe most of the album is on Youtube if you would like to stream prior to purchasing.