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June 21, 2013 - Nicholas Terry
It's Friday, my loyal readers. We've made it through another work week. I'm sure you've all got plans for the weekend. Day visits to the park or beach (weather permitting), overnight camping, or a weekend getaway. It's these types of moments that we make memories out of. I associate every album I own with a memory. I can only hope that some of the music I share can be a part of your life as it is mine.
This week we are flashing back to 2004. It doesn't seem so long ago, but it was almost a decade ago that I was a junior in high school buying Tiger Army's third album, "III: Ghost Tigers Rise" from my local record store. The entire genre of psychobilly is something quite difficult to explain to someone. It sounds silly, and in a tongue and cheek sorta way, it's supposed to be. It's a mixture of surf, 50s rock and roll, punk, and a love of monsters and the macabre. Bands vary as much as a band in any genre, but on this album Tiger Army channel Morrissey's croon over new wave rock.
The album opens up with essentially two open introductory tracks. They don't do much other than to set the mood for what you're in for. I honestly skip them on most listens and dive right into track three, "Wander Alone". The first thing you'll learn about most psychobilly bands is that they implore the use of a stand-up bass. Here it is tastefully done, but there is no denying the thumping strings of a standup bass. I personally prefer the sound to a standard electric bass after hearing the two enough. It's warm, rich, and distinct.
Nick 13, the guitarist/singer of Tiger Army, has a voice, as I had mentioned rivals the crooning ability of Morrissey. However, his lyrics paint a much different picture. He writes love songs the same way Edgar Allen Poe writes. It's dark, there's layers of imagery to sift through, but at the heart of his songs are just about the human condition. The song "Ghostfire" gives a name to the pain of having your heart broken for the very first time. "Atomic" speaks to the feeling of being liberated through imagery of an apocalypse. "Calling" is the struggle of making the decision to live one's life to the fullest despite losing the person you cared about the most.
These are all pretty common emotions, but the ability to shine on these emotions in a new light is something every writer or musician strives for. I would recommend this album to most people. It's an extremely accessible album. If you like new wave, country, or rock, then here's something a little bit in the between.
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