This Good Tiger article was written by Simon Carline, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Fraisia Dunn
Let’s be honest, any sort of heavy rock music with high pitched vocals is going to be an acquired taste. Try as you might, there’s no getting around that. From this opening gambit, you’re probably aware of what we’re dealing with here and are either: A) Suitably put off from giving Good Tiger a chance or, B) Open to this idea, possibly by being the proud owner of the aforementioned acquired taste. If you’re more drawn to Option A then please, stick around for a few minutes, don’t be so hasty.
Still here? Good, because there’s a fair few noteworthy moments on ‘A Head Full of Midnight’ and plenty to admire in a band with undeniable talent and a great pedigree. Formed earlier this year from ex members of The Safety Fire, TesseracT and The Faceless, the band wasted no time recording this nine track effort, getting the ball rolling with the help of crowdfunding site: Indiegogo.
This anticipation is well warranted as exemplified from the rousing opener and second single, ‘Where Are The Birds’. We’re hit straight away with a blend of all things Anthony Green, equal parts Circa Survive and Saosin with a smattering of Glassjaw chaos. Your attention is pricked a little more now, right?
The slightly mathy verses explode into a euphoric chorus with melodies that lodge themselves firmly in your head, no one’s re-inventing the wheel here but it works. Next we’re greeted with the lead single, ‘Snake Oil’, which cranks the riffing up a notch and becomes complete with some slightly generic ‘shouty’ vocals over the verses. Thankfully, the catchy as hell chorus helps redeem this small bug bear. They’ve started strong here.
Good Tiger clearly excel when the shackles are off. Manic verses that move into half time choruses give the guitar duo of Dez Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles room to breathe and allow the pair to indulge in some The Fall of Troy style fret dancing. Variety is key though and ‘I Paint What I See’ follows its time signature hopping chorus with a reflective moment of soulful crooning from vocalist Elliot Coleman, providing one of the album’s highlights. Later, the band hit the ‘METAL BOOST’ button on the galloping and chugging ‘All Her Own Teeth’. If you were going to indulge in some good old fashioned head banging at any point, it would be at this juncture.
The album closes with ’67 Pontiac Firebird’, a song that lets loose and proves what you tend to suspect throughout, that Good Tiger have been reigning in some serious proggy math metal tendencies in favour of a simpler approach. There is talent on show here and it is abundantly clear that this band benefit from their guitar duo and rhythm section being totally in sync with each other from their times in previous bands. Blended together, it could have been overblown but to their credit they mostly avoid that. Plus, at 34 minutes long the band doesn’t overstay their welcome. They get the job done quickly, it’s all very efficient. Now go and choose Option B.