Tiger Army are a band that I’ve always been really into. Psychobilly is just one of the coolest genres ever and Tiger Army kind of exemplified that in previous years with really spooky sounding songs and chilling lyrics. However, when I picked up their latest album, Music From Regions Beyond, I was thoroughly disappointed.
The album opens like any other Tiger Army album – with an interlude. No frenetic howling this time, just some good old fashioned guitar. It’s a strong opening, and the song it leads into, Hotprowl is perfectly on track for Tiger Army; it has the same raw energy and fast pace that you’d expect from the band. The echo effect on Nick 13’s voice works as well as it always has, and to be honest, Hotprowl is an excellent song. The next song, Afterworld is equally as good, delivering a psychobilly punch right to your ears.
And then it all goes downhill.
The truth is, all the songs start to blend into each other after a while. Some argue that psychobilly has a tendency to do this anyway, but that’s only if it’s not handled right. Tiger Army have made astounding albums in the past, albums that I have listened to over and over without losing interest, and I’m afraid that MFRB is just not one of those albums. Why? Well, it loses its edge after the first two songs. Admittedly, it picks up a bit towards the end, but the energy that was there just dissipates and we’re left with an album of mediocre songs. These songs aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just uninteresting. Oh, except for As The Cold Rain Falls, which is the band’s attempt at a Cure song. It really just does not work. It’s got this vaguely dreamy quality which does more to irritate than it does to enchant. All in all, not good times. Also, there’s a distinct lack of the bass sound. It’s never been as prominent in Tiger Army as in other psychobilly bands, but there’s just no real bass to half of the songs and they feel a little hollow.
However, there are things about this album that work though. Nick 13 still has a beautiful voice, and yes, I would say that Hotprowl and Spring Forward are some of the best Tiger Army songs I’ve heard. There’s a beautiful song called Hechizo De Amor, sung completely in Spanish, which is truly enthralling and sends chills up my spine. The final song, Where The Moss Slowly Grows is an absolutely wonderful song to finish on, filled with acoustic guitar and spooky psychobilly riffs. It’s just really unfortunate that the middle section of the album is so bland and uninteresting.
This album had a lot of promise, and as I said, there are songs on here that are great. It’s just sadly not enough to save the rest of the album.
2 out of 5 high fives