The trajectory of this Scranton band is a dilatory process; with members in and out of post-secondary education the band seems to constantly fall short of hitting full stride. With various releases kicking around, including a well received split with Balance and Composure from last summer, Tigers Jaw’s new full-length is dealing with some lofty expectations. The band has deft control of their garage/punk structures and a vocal delivery that’s a harrowing cadence on every song, but Two Worlds stands as an enigma, not as an instant success.
Through early listens the songs bleed into one another and 25minutes peels past far too quickly, but after a few complete spins the album fleshes out and tracks such as “Smile”, “Static” and “Test Pattern” set their subtle hooks into supple minds. The guitars are heavier than most Tigers Jaw before this point, and the drums have a refined heavy-yet-open feel on the entire album, but as with most of the band’s work it’s the vocals that hit home.
There are moments of messy perfection – the dissonant screams of “Static” are the perfect example – but they end up feeling criminally short-lived. You begin to define three or four memorable sequences while the majority of the album slips by as colourful background. Two Worlds sounds unique in today’s punk scene, but it doesn’t stand out as Tigers Jaw’s magnum opus – we’ll have to keep waiting for that perfect record.
As a side note, Smiths fans might enjoy subtle references on “Smile” and “I Saw the Wolf”, while a Nevermind name-drop makes sure we know where Tigers Jaw take inspiration. From early origins to recent maturity, Tigers Jaw is trending skyward and Two Worlds is yet another step on the journey. [ END ]
04. Two Worlds
05. Let Go/Trashed Floor
06. Test Pattern
08. I Saw the Wolf
09. Buono Pizza
11. Thank you, Noah Lowry
Run Time: 25:06
Release Date: 11.23.2010