There must be something in the water in Brighton these days. Clash first came across Tigercub when they opened thunderously for fellow Brightonian rock princes Royal Blood way back at the time of the release of their debut single. Now having seen their friends and tour mates ascend to the pantheon of rock’s top table, Tigercub arrive, equipped with a debut album every bit as fearsome, devastating and yet assuredly-controlled as one could have hoped for.
Whereas much of what was in evidence in the band’s work prior to this debut album focused primarily on the primal, almost feral force of early ‘90s grunge, from the moment ‘Burning Effigies’ makes its entrance, you know that things have changed. Here is a mature, confident band, making a statement of intent to take over not just your ears and hearts, but those of a great many more people than might otherwise have succumbed to their charms in the past.
Whether it’s the seductively slinky overdrive of ‘Omen’, the smooth melodies of ‘Up In Smoke’ or the screaming cacophony of ‘Migraine’ that originally grabs you, this is an album of more depth and nuance than you might expect. Where, in the past, Tigercub might have been easy to consider as grunge revivalists, this album reveals them to have the sonic palette and ambition to outstrip any of their contemporaries. Not many acts, on their debut album, would be able to comfortably coalesce the discomfiture of the aforementioned ‘Migraine’ alongside the groove of ‘The Golden Ratio’ or the lazy lope of the spitting ‘Serial Killer’, but Tigercub can. Every time you have them and this album pegged, there is a twist and turn which arches an eyebrow and proves beyond doubt that this is one special band who are not only just getting started, but have a scope, a capacity to be a truly scene-defining act.
So, the lesson here is, if you want to be a world-changing band, following in the wake of such a majestic lineage, which may yet continue with up-and-comers Army of Bones (look out for them next year), get yourself down to Brighton, pronto.
Words: Haydon Spencely
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