Tigars Jaw/ Charmer

Dwnld: Charmer/ Hum / Slow Come On

Rating: 6

Tigars Jaw follows up their amazing self-titled album by ditching the DIY sound of the past and delivering a more polished 4th LP.  Gone is a lot of the punkish attitude to their songwriting that was dominant previously, replaced rather ironically with more of Sunny Day Real Estate  feel. Turmoil haunted the recording  process and at times it shows. 3/4 of the band (Adam, Pat and Dennis) officially left the band to pursue other ventures  though decided, in the end,  to stay on to help finish the album. While the second half suffers greatly from monotony, the first half is a highlight reel. Charmer and Frame You seem to be throw backs to the early days with pulsating riffs that are one small step from turning into progressive solo’s. Tigar Jaw works best when you have a sense that they are just jamming along, and both songs are blessed with this strain in their DNA. Hum allows Brianna to take lead vocals  and gives the album a great change of pace early on.I only wish she was given more of the same oppurtunity later, beyond a few lines here or there. As stated before, the second is dragged down by more lack of diverse pacing than anything else. each song seems to follow the same path home, which makes it seem as if we are watching reruns of the previous. Slow Come On and Distress Signal are decent toe-tappers but dont fit with the surrounding tracks. I believe that Charmer will garnish new fans to Tigar Jaw though I am spectalitive if life-long fans will accept such a toned down approach. Yes, the distortion is still there, as are the cryptic lyrics but the record lacks the muscle of previous adventures. It was this muscle, this conscience -carefree attitude that set them apart from the cesspool of similar acts.

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