In the last three years, I’ve only reviewed a few albums on Barely Conscious, and I’ve been in love with all of them. I think it would be fun to take a massive dump all over someone’s sternum the next time I review any music on here – so, I’ll have to keep a mental note about that. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if that scenario could even arise as a possibility. Unless I hear something that is so god awful, it inspires me to waste my precious life seconds scrutinizing an entire album worth of garbage. And then follow that up with the massive effort of writing up a review that I deem amusing enough to post. And what if my review backfires in its effect? Where it somehow ends up giving the artist more notoriety and fame, resulting in greater success, and thusly, more music for the world to endure in the future ?? Fuck me. Maybe I’ll just review a single or something as a compromise. Sorry, where was I ?
Ah yes, the all-star lineup that is Good Tiger : Elliot Coleman on vocals, Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles on guitars, Morgan Sinclair on Bass, and Alex Rüdinger on drums. I wasn’t very familiar with any of their prior bands (Tesseract, The Safety Fire, The Faceless, Architects), but after listening to a few samples, I can definitively say they all made solid career choices in assembling the Good Tiger voltron. Whatever dark energy that triggered these guys to coalesce into planet Sickballs, is the kind of stuff science can only speculate about.
They released their first single, “Snake Oil” a few months ahead of the album release “A Head Full Of Moonlight”, and I was totally enamoured. I’m not a big fan of screaming, but after the first verse, the melodic vocal parts quickly become both abundant and resonating. The chorus is as catchy as head lice, and my steering wheel has been adequately pummelled from getting double kicked to deformity. I’m also a huge fan of the unlocked, roaming movement of Morgan’s basslines. No doubt that Adam “Nolly” Getgood had a hand in the mixing and production of this album, as everything he touches seems to jump out of your speakers.
Speaking of which, their second single – “All Her Own Teeth” is a gorgeous work of art. It doesn’t have the bite of “Snake Oil”, but has an equal impact. Lyrics are a huge part of what makes me connect to a band, and Elliot proves to be quite the wordsmith –
“Chip away the glass it separates what’s real With all these fragments I’ll build you Maybe we could show each other glass can bend I must break you Maybe we can start to rebuild when I’m through
You’ll love this Are you a Scorpio?
I would like to know
Cause I think I might like this
Am I your Romeo?
Please don’t kill me yet
Cause I think that you’re still wet”
I played both of these jams incessantly in my car in the weeks leading up to the full album release (much to the chagrin of my friends, who have horrible taste). Then, Right before their Album dropped, they released their third single – “Where are the birds”, which surged through my speakers with dynamic perfection. I guess the band was very in touch with which songs of the lot were the three best on the album. Not that the other tracks aren’t far behind – “I Paint What I See” and “Aspirations” are fascinating exercises in spatial creativity and pacing.
It’s so hard to breathe a truly fresh sound across the stagnant landscape of rock. Good Tiger generate a giddy Christmas morning excitement I haven’t felt in a few years. In the evolution of music, there have been several generations of “almost” bands who didn’t quite make the natural selection cut. Wings proudly spread, Good Tiger have hatched from their egg with a dominant DNA combination that can soar far higher than their wet-feathered predecessors.
There are no throwaway tracks to find on this instant classic. Although, given that “AHFOM” has only 9 songs, it would have been quite the disappointment to find a dead fish in the middle of a sandwich of such succulent, choice cuts of meat. My only complaints were that I wanted a bit more of the “Snake Oil” hooks, and perhaps, an album with 12 or 13 tracks to better satiate my feral tiger lust. Play this bad boy front to back, and get those falsetto vocals warmed up.
Overall Rating : 9.1/10
Elliot also participated in a legendary tap-off/squeal-off contest against Wes Hauch. Please don’t try this at home.