Underwater Tiger hail from upstate New York. Where Miles Become Meaning is their debut album, yet the band have been building up hype well before this release and managed to accrue a cool $5000 towards the album production thanks to a fast growing fanbase. Luckily for them, Where Miles Become Meaning is a great start for the band.
Immediately, I was swept away by the opening title track. Where Miles Become Meaning is a song with conviction and is already a fantastic display of the talent on board, beginning to showcase the great vocal dynamic going on within the band. All the band make a decent vocal contribution and the different voices coming through, intertwining with each other, sounds incredible. The introduction of a children’s choir at the end creates a powerful opener and a song that is presumably very hard to top.
While the title track is indeed a tour-de-force of emotion, the rest of the album doesn’t exactly pale in comparison. Underwater Tiger are clearly gifted songwriters and some amazing sweeping guitar can be found all across the album, but in You’re So Surreal in particular. There’s beautiful piano threaded through the album as well – Shipwreck Love starts out as a typical piano ballad and ends up being an awesome guitar and synth driven ride. Dioscuri is a completely instrumental track where all of their craft comes to the forefront and proves that they don’t need vocals to showcase their talent at all.
Although all the songs on the album are put together well, the album does start to get a little too familiar in the middle. It may be inevitable with this type of music, but songs start to blend together and fade into the background. There are exceptions and towards the end of the record everything starts to pick back up again, but that kind of soft, melodic OC-affair song starts to become a staple midway through. The band are at their best when they start to take some risks, like in Where Miles Become Meaning, Dioscuri and Treading Days, which has some great hardcore influences coming through. There is nothing particularly bad about the album (bar a few cringey lyrics about sex coming through) and in some ways, that familiarity is nice – the album is perfectly reminiscent of the early 2000s alternative scene – but Underwater Tiger really are most impressive when they start to explore.
Where Miles Become Meaning is a good, solid debut album. Made for lazy summer days, this album’s coming out just in time and is a great sign of things to come.
3.5 out of 5 high fives!