Label: Closed Casket Activities
I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys; I chose to review this album based entirely on the name of the band. Although, I think “Weretigers Fight” or “Where Tigers Fight” would of been better…
Immediately, I’m reminded of the likes of Pulling Teeth (US), Runiner and a prog-less The Pax Cecilia. And that means driving, simplistic beats, roaring screams, gritty riffing and a Take No Shit approach to music! If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, then I suggest you skip the rest of this review and seek this album out because that it exactly what Death Songs exemplifies!
When Tigers Fight do a great job at mixing old school hardcore sentiments and style with the tighter modern style of hardcore without anyone losing face or sounding too “slick”. This journalist appreciates that more than you’ll know since he’s been on the fence about which side of that whole argument to jump over to. And thanks to Death Songs, I can remain comfortably seated for just a while longer.
Lyrically, you have some of the best examples of capturing the stress and angst that come from strife and repression that I have heard in years! The songs just leap out at you and embed themselves in your brainspace and stick with you long after the album is finished! And the fact that they’re delivered by hardcore heavy hitter Mike McTernan make this tiger fight that much more ferocious! McTernan’s shouting on this album is what I’d imagine a human cement mixer would sound like if it suddenly gained sentience and fronted a hardcore band. And I mean on the nose!
If I’m going to fault this album for anything, it’ll be the same thing that haunts most other hardcore/punk releases: repetition. Just about every song sounds similar to the song before it in structure and lyrical content (as awesome as that may be). Other than that, I really shouldn’t complain since they managed to get EVERYTHING else right!
Overall: After listening to When Tigers Fight for less than a minute, you can tell that this is one of those rare bands that is comprised of 100% heart! Don’t let this tremendous piece of hardcore escape your interests and check out Death Songs for yourself and let it speak to you the way it spoke to me.
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