Review: Tigers Of Junction Street – s/t [EP]

Well don’t we have a lovely treat for your precious little ears today? And it comes in the self-titled package of a 5-track EP by Tigers Of Junction Street. Let’s dismiss of the mostly boring stuff first shall we? Who are Tigers Of Junction Street (TOJS)? They’re a five-piece from London and they’ll be releasing their nifty EP through Hoffen Records on July 28 (just in time for the summer holidays kiddies). They showcase the usual five piece set-up, consisting of two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a singer; forming in 2010 on the back of a long-term friendship.

That’s quite enough of the bio shit, let’s get to the music! Even when you first listen to the EP, you can’t help but notice how well they band play, individually and together. Each guitarist, the bass, the drums and the vocals are all spot on, hitting each and every note while crafting some complex melodies together. Kudos to lead singer Josh Elliot, his vocal range is pretty impressive, if not a little high register for my taste (alas we can’t have Corey Taylor and Winston McCall spearheading every band can we?), but it complements the electronic-rock sound that TOJS seem to be flirting with throughout the five tracks.

The boys claim to draw influences from the likes of Coheed and Cambia, Periphery and TesseracT; I guess I can hear elements of that coming through. The opening track, ‘Incarnation’, kicks the EP off brilliantly with a contagious melody and chorus. It is by far the catchiest of the five tracks on the EP and it’ll stay with you for weeks after you’ve listened to it for exactly that reason. It boasts a lot of what modern rock should be about, up-tempo from the off and always in your face, it has riffs a-plenty and you’ll be humming “I’ll throw you away, I’ll come out swinging like the way you know I’ll play…” before you know it!

The whole EP experiments pretty successfully with jazz-elements too, treating us mere listeners to purposefully disjointed but well-crafted harmonics. In my albeit brief research into the band – looking on their social media – I did come across another review of TOJS which seemed at odds with my thoughts; in fact it was a pretty harsh and scathing assessment of the release. ‘All the songs sound the same… they have great complexity but lack originality and emotion…’ you get the point. Why do I bring this up? Because I really couldn’t disagree more!

‘The Deception’ is a good move onwards from ‘Incarnation’, raising the rock-game at the loss of some of the more pop-like melodies. It brings in more gritty riffs, moving in a heavier/darker direction – even if its intro sounded like a retro video game (more signs of the electronic rock malarkey I mentioned). After slowing the song almost to a stop – it would be a stop if it wasn’t for the gentle vocals – the guitars and drums really kick back into life, the ranging riffs being a total pleasure to listen to. ‘Cold Winter’ tries to slow the tempo, showing that the band can craft something more sombre, as it carries on the pursuit of the darker territory.

Even the ‘Interlude’, which may seem a little out of place on an EP, was well formed and a pleasure to listen to! All in all, what TOJS provide isn’t a small mission statement, it’s a smorgasbord; a sampling of everything they are musically capable of. Rather than being a statement of intent, it is a mini finished article. What we’ve got here is a bitesized album and you should check it out!

4 out of 5 high fives!

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