Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Miniature Tigers - Fortress
Miniature Tigers - Fortress
2010 Modern Art Records/ILG
Band note: If you're staying in a house in the middle of the Adirondacks that could double as a horror movie set, watching The Shining may not be the best choice. Then again, listening to the dark anxiety and energy that runs through Miniature Tiger's sophomore album, Fortress, perhaps it was the perfect choice. Inspired by the abject terror and angst of that experience, the Brooklyn-based Miniature Tigers cut an album full of reckless energy and adrenaline that compensates for any deficits you might identify with pure energy and the sense of bravado that covers fear.
Miniature Tigers start strong on Fortress, opening with the melodic 1960's pop style of "Mansion Of Misery" and speckling it with vast tracts of psychedelic sound. The melody is pleasant enough at first but becomes highly repetitive as Miniature Tigers chose to express AB composition by differentiating with changes between pure pop sound to psychedelic fugue. "Rock N Roll Mountain Troll" describes someone most people have known at one point in their life. That guy who went to school or work and then spent the rest of his time in his room getting h and playing guitar or drums or some other instrument. The song is incredibly catchy and fun to listen to, with a catchy melody the Beatles would have been proud of.
"Dark Tower" finds Miniature Tigers in the backwaters of human thought where philosophy and a profound sense of epistemological melancholy meet. It's a song about trying to find yourself while navigating the waters of human interaction and relationships, filled with all of the angst and fear that such confrontations inspire. Things get a bit slow in the middle of "Fortress", but pick up again for the near-novelty tune "Japanese Woman Living In My Closet". While Miniature Tigers might appear to have driven right off the deep end here, the infectious pop melody is nothing to sneeze at. Much the same can be said of "Tropical Birds". Miniature Tigers float their way past the last bastions of sensibility into a land where Syd Barrett cavorts with pop princesses and writes million-sellers. As odd as the song may be, there's an essential draw to it that will have you hitting replay nearly in spite of yourself.
Miniature Tigers walk their own musical path on Fortress, engaging in a delirious mix of 1960's rock and pop with easy listening tendrils gracing the edges of their sound. The retro movement has finally brought back psychedelic folk-rock, and Miniature Tigers play it like they invented the sound.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Miniature Tigers at http://www.miniaturetigers.com/ or www.myspace.com/miniaturetigers. Fortress is available from Amazon.com as either a CD or Download. Fortress is also available from iTunes.