Tigercub have been busy touring since the release of their excellent debut, ‘Abstract Figures in the Dark’, last November, but have somehow also managed to record and put out another release in less than a year, ‘Evolve or Die’. While this four-song EP never quite reaches the intense heights of ‘Abstract Figures…’, it certainly sees Tigercub pushing themselves forward.
Opener, ‘Divided States of Us’ is a straight-up rocker disguised as something more complex. The bells and whistles, mostly weird and noisy background instrumentations, really add a lot to proceedings. They’re not just there for decoration, and these complexities are so well-woven into the track that its simple structure is overtaken by them, becoming something else entirely. This is something Tigercub are great at – breathing new life into stagnant rock music tropes.
‘Into the Ashes’ sees the band playing with shoegaze-esque guitar tones, adding an eerier atmosphere than the opener, which shows off the band’s diversity over just two songs. The song’s most discernible hook comes from a guitar riff starting about a third of the way in, cementing the guitar work of ‘Into the Ashes’ as its best feature.
The following tracks aren’t quite as strong as the first two, though. ‘It’s Only Love’ has a weak vocal hook and never really comes together. It’s a layered composition, but builds too gradually and becomes repetitive after a while.
‘Faking Laughter’ fares better because of its placement at the end of ‘Evolve or Die’. It’s a simple and to-the-point track, with as little of the complex layering of the preceding three offerings. It does this without sounding dumbed-down, and instead offers a bit of respite from the slower tracks for some *ahem* rock ‘n’ roll, man.
‘Evolve or Die’ isn’t necessarily Tigercub at their best, but it shows that the band are hard-working and open to fine-tuning their sound. If nothing else, it’s a decent enough holdover until album number two.
‘Evolve Or Die’ EP by Tigercub is out now on Alcopop! Records.
Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)