Some bands make you wait a year for new material, others make you wait almost ten. Tiger Army are one of the latter. However, the ’96-formed psychobilly punk piece are back with a confusingly titled album called ‘V •••–’, and fortunately after nearly a decade waiting it does not disappoint.
Drawn together by many influences both old and new, the 13-track album is packed full of small unique qualities which define them as a band. ‘Firefall’ is familiar, reminiscent of previous songs such as ‘Pain’ with the distortion-filled, old-school psychobilly sound. ‘Prisoner of the Night’ welcomes a subtle sweeping piano to Tiger Army’s prestige and runs daintily throughout.
Western movie-esque guitar trundles into ‘I Am Moth’ with frontman Nick 13’s voice revealing hints of Morrissey but keeping his own eccentric airiness to it. The same goes for ‘World Without the Moon’, which is infectious with instrumentation so positively bouncy it’s almost sarcastic.
The brash ‘Devil Lurks on the Road’ is fast-paced and punchy with its snarling twang of psychobilly guitar alongside consistent drum fills carrying the song throughout. Slower, ‘Dark and Lonely Night’ can be best described as the type of song you’d hear sitting in an almost empty bar contemplating life while a band entertain as background noise. Polishing off the record, ‘In The Morning Light’ is mostly peaceful and reflective on the album in its entirety.
‘V •••–’ is arguably Tiger Army’s finest, most meticulously produced record and is the definition of a refreshing listen. It is an evolution in the quality of their sound and holds classic, timeless elements which are not often explored. It’s cliché to say, but it most definitely does not disappoint and will take a rightful place amongst the highest calibre releases of this year so far.
‘V •••–’’ by Tiger Army is released on May 20th on Rise Records.
Words by Phoebe Messenger (@kangaezu_ni)