Friday, January 31, 2014

Tigerface - EP - "On The Beach" - Leaves You Wanting More

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.

There are only 4 songs on the collection. Control with it's disjointed beginning of spartan piano, squealing radio transmissions and faltering drums falls into a blissful kind of psychedelic folk thing. The vocal performance is top notch, a lovely voice that radiates with emotion. For a short song, it pauses in all the right places, letting the atmosphere hang on the dirty piano chords in a really evocative ways. Brian Wilson would of liked this as he sat in his sandbox stupor. Leaving (For A While) feel somber but pretty and hinges on a heavy acoustic guitar held up with a delicious Fender Rhodes sounding keyboard and sweet melody but it seems to end rather abruptly. On the Beach, is something in between a 70's TV theme song or a surreal dance number that would exist in a Coen Brothers movie. The lead guitar work erupting after a surprising foreign vocal break is really fun and brilliant in that George Harrison kind of way. And finally, Junkyard  which feels almost Damien Rice-ish but less self centered, is just earnest and beautiful.

Who are you Tiger Face? Are you one person with that beautiful voice or many? This debut contain only 4 songs but they all feel uniquely inspired. These folk based songs with rather avant garde twists and turns are truly engaging because they don't merely hang on sonic hooks. The unusual and sometimes nostalgic psychedelic wrappings cover words and melodies that carry emotional weight and that is the key here. I look forward to hearing more from this "project" soon. Go create more splendid songs for me, please.

Robb Donker

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