Monday, March 22, 2010

Album Review: Mighty Tiger - Western Theater

Seattle's Mighty Tiger takes inspiration from sunny 60's pop, but don't stereotype them and lump them in with all the other bands in the category. Mighty Tiger isn't concerned with creating an atmosphere, a sense of nostalgia or a hippie attitude. On their debut, Western Theater, they use their influences to mold their songs, not their image, and it pays off with some compelling harmonies and memorable melodies.

“33 1/3” earns every bit of praise it is getting on the web. Its melody – and I do not write this lightly – is perfect. The vocal line ascends into a short, but soaring climax and listeners will be singing along by the end of their first listen. Every bit of the song (well, except for the weak drum solo outro) is delicious.

The band members, originally from the mid- and southwest, are breaking the hippie stereotype of their genre and of Seattle with a ton of snark. “Hands in Holy Water” is the clearest example with lyrics like “I know water's a commodity but I really wish you'd take a shower every day.” As somebody from a small town in Colorado that now lives in Carrboro, I can relate.

My only complaints would be that Western Theater feels too long and it takes a while for the album to get comfortable – “Voyeur Heaven” is a bit frantic; “Rook to King” is good, but not great – but neither of these things ruins what is a fun pop album and a solid debut.

Western Theater is out now on Paper Garden Records.

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