Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Tiger Face is now Rare Diagram and their single "Ouroboros" is a stunning head trip.
"Tiger Face is a mystery. All I know is that this "project" is out of Portland, Oregon and their debut EP "On The Beach" instantly tapped into my inner child (if he was a little high on too much cough syrup) and my endearing love of the shiny sounds of Elliot Smith, the Beatles (circa Abbey Road), Nielsen, Bright Eyes, The Flaming Lips, Ray Davies and cats scurrying across metal trash can lids at midnight. It is not that Tiger Face sounds like any one of these sounds / artists in particular but the songs on this EP brought them to mind in an endearing way."
As you might be able to tell I liked, even loved, the songs and one in particular Leaving (For A While) was on my best of 2014 list. It turns out that Tiger Face and the On The Beach EP itself was a side project of Justin Chase who wrote all the songs and played all the instruments. The EP's creation itself spawned a band to perform the songs live.
Now Justin (vocals, guitar, keys and more) and his band is back as Rare Diagram. The talents of Cory West (drums and more), Chris Marshall (bass) and Emma Browne (Guitar, keys, vocals) has brought a more expansive sound and the first peak at a new album. The outstanding track Ouroboros is a pop heavy head trip of a song that stirs in a cascade of sounds and musical genres in such a lush and adventurous way that you hear new aspects of the song upon each listen. You can hear some of the Beatles inspiration in some of the askew psychedelia. The jazz pop phrasings that made me think of the eclectic spirit of 70's artists like Supertramp, Badfinger, Nielsen, Todd Rundgren or the current flavors of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Mac DeMarco or Porches. If Ouroboros is any indication of what is to come on Rare Diagram's debut LP it portends to be a stellar piece of work. I absolutely love the production on this track. The dynamic twists and turns are so musically compelling and with additional support by Anthony Meade (Trombone), Laurel Thurman and Cheryl Chase (Strings) and Phoebe Spier and Rachel Bow (additional vocals) the sounds dress up the strange lyrics to create this wonderfully weird yet gleeful musical arc culminating in a big crazily happy ending.