Romance Of Young Tigers : Self-Titled Ep (Self Released)
I made a brief post on Dayton, Ohio trio, Romance of Young Tigers, here about a month ago. Back then I said this young band ( two guitarists and a bassist) made music the equivelant of "Mono merging their dynamic sound with the attention to detail aspects of Labradford". With their debut self-released ep, the Young Tigers not only match the promise of that statement, they blow it out of the water!. For a band with literally no percussive elements, their sound of massive distorted soundscapes is, nothing short of, absolutely monumental. Before talking about the music, the packaging is something to marvel at too. Its handmade, hand-drawn and highly inventive. It makes this ep worth buying, before even listening to the music.
Opening proceedings with the incredible, and aptly titled, "Long Withdrawing Roar", this fledgling band combine lulling drones that slowly unravel into a real cacophony of psychedlic sound. As this track progesses, the discordant sounds become drenched in reverb, while a glorious melody starts to emerge, before subsiding into a mass of distorted ambience. For a band's first foray into recorded territory, it is astounding stuff.
After such a glorious start, it is hard to see how Romance of Young Tigers could match "Long Withdrawing Roar", but with "We Sing Sin", they not only do that, they somehow, manage to go one better. I can only imagine what it is like to experience this band in a live setting, because the sheer volume of "We Sing Sin", would surely be enough to dislodge one's brain. It is a ferocious and intense track, clocking in at well over 11 minutes. Again, despite no percussive elements, this hypnotic composition features crescendos that are as big as tidal waves. The Mono/Labradford comparison is probably most apparent here. While "Long Withdrawing Roar" is incredible, "We Sing Sin" is stunning.
Third track, "The Sound of Fury", through no fault of its own, suffers from the sheer quality of the previous two tracks. It changes tact slightly, relying on spectral drones and some psychedlic, twinkling sounds to start it off. Again, it builds slowly, but purposefully, into a thick cloud of distortion. It is as epic as the opening two tracks, but looses it impact slightly because of what's went on before. That is not to say "The Sound and The Fury" is an inferior track, because most bands would kill to compose something as monolithic as this.
"Cease Silent Soft Choir", the ep's closing track, reminds me of the work of Seattle noisemongers, Hovercraft. Employing walls of wailing feedback and some eerie sound effects, it serves to create an atmosphere that is quite unsettling. It would be a perfect score for a horror film and also shows Romance of Young Tigers to be no 'one-trick ponies'. Of course, you can never get enough of a good thing and the band slowly guide this song into an eruption of that, now trademarked, distorted ambience around the 5 minute mark, before descending back into the sinsister soundscape.
At nearly 35 minutes long, the 4 expansive tracks that make up this ep provide some jaw-dropping moments. The breath-taking, "We Sing Sin" is the pick of the bunch, but there are inspired moments on all four tracks. I am running out of superlatives to describe this release. Sure they have their influences, but the sound here is, most definitely, their own. If you haven't made your new year's resolution yet, make it a point to check this band out. Everything about this release oozes quality, from the packaging to the music itself. To sum it up in one word: Spectacular.
Rating = 90%
The band are due to perform with the marvellous Ascent Of Everest, amongst others in early January 2007. The details can be veiwed and the ep songs can be found here
Labels: Romance Of Young Tigers