Release Date: Jul 27, 2010
Record label: Modern Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop
Most tracks on the Miniature Tigers’ second album Fortress open softly, only to burst into thunderous chords, fuzzy digital burbles, or blissful jangle. But those tricky arrangements wouldn’t matter if there weren’t such catchy melodies on top. Fans of kitchen-sink psychedelia will find few greater treats this summer. A? Download These:Single Gold Skull at amazon.comWhimsical Rock and Roll Mountain Troll at amazon.com See all of this week’s reviews .
When a band tries on as many different hats as Miniature Tigers do on their sophomore LP, Fortress, it can raise a red flag. The Brooklyn-based foursome spends a lot of time here style-pinching, connecting dots already drawn by contemporary indie acts. And yet Miniature Tigers are often able to pull it off. By incorporating elements outside the realm of the no-frills indie pop they're grounded, they show a genuine interest in exploring avant-garde folk, woozy psych, and abstracted electronic pop.
Miniature Tigers’ songwriter and frontman Charlie Brand has a gift for catchy melodies and a penchant for offbeat subject matter. These qualities have served certain songwriters well in the past; hell, They Might Be Giants have had a career for three decades because of it and have themselves inspired a new generation of nerd-rockers, including, one assumes, Charlie Brand. It’s really not a bad subgenre to work in.
Miniature Tigers recorded their first album in Phoenix, AZ, a town whose landlocked sprawl forced the musicians to create their own geography. Tell It to the Volcano conjured up images of tropical islands and communal campfires, using acoustic guitars and casual, breezy melodies to dream up a landscape that looked nothing like the band’s home. Fortress, the group’s second album, sketches a different picture.