Release Date: May 19, 2017
Record label: Atlantic
ROCKS LIKE: Saves The Day, the Get Up Kids, Lemuria WHAT'S DIFFERENT: While Tigers Jaw's lineup was overhauled in 2013, it was essentially business as usual on that year's Charmer, with three departing members appearing on the recording. On spin, it's all Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins, and they live up to the pressure. The catchy guitar work, warm keyboards and youthful, pleading anguish of romantic loss, longing and general malaise from their 2008 self-titled breakout remain.
Few emo hot takes pack more heat than " In Reverie is the best Saves the Day album." Following the band's evergreen classics Through Being Cool and Stay What You Are, and preceding an ongoing back-to-basics course correction, it's a complete outlier--the sole album Saves the Day released on the major label DreamWorks, shifting from Lifetime worship into midtempo, floral power-pop and intricate jazzy chords. It was an album that alienated old fans and failed to gain new ones in equal measure. Tigers Jaw's Ben Walsh recently called In Reverie his favorite album of all time.
You have to hand it to Tigers Jaw for sticking it out. The former fivesome from Scranton, PA lost three of its members shortly after recording their last album, 2014's Charmer, and looked for a moment like they might never recover. But here they are with the emotionally eloquent Spin, rejuvenated and sounding just as good as a duo as they ever did as a quintet. Longtime fans will be relieved to hear that not a lot has changed since the shakeup.
It's crazy to think that Tigers Jaw has been a band for 12 years already and have been in some semblance of the public eye (at least the portion of the public eye that pays attention to scrappy emo/indie bands) since their self-titled sophomore full-length was released in 2008. But the past four years have been full of turmoil for the Scranton, Pennsylvania-based group: In March 2013, three-fifths of the band, including vocalist/guitarist and main songwriter Adam McIlwee, quit, and the remaining members--guitarist/vocalist Ben Walsh and keyboardist/vocalist Brianna Collins--limped through a previously scheduled summer tour with fill-in musicians under the public assumption that this was the end of Tigers Jaw. Then, suddenly, the band announced it was going to release a new album, Charmer, in 2014, recorded with all the members who left the band the previous year, but that the band would continue to officially exist as a duo between Walsh and Collins.
Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins have had to shift their musical perspective as the remaining members left from the old Tigers Jaw. spin finds the duo, as cliched as it sounds, more mature and focused, using this experience to tell stories in a less angsty, restless way. They're still delivering indie/jangly emo rhythms but geared more for an alternative rock audience as opposed to the DIY crowd of old.