Tiger Shadow - Stripe 1 EP

Owain Paciuszko 06/01/2010

Rating: 4/5

The Rise of Tiger Shadow the debut LP from this Leeds based hip-hop outfit was an incredibly refereshing record, taking an old school approach that sounded futuristic when placed - rightfully - on its pedastal above the shockingly unimaginative, over-produced rap and hip hop music that pervades the mainstream. But more than sounding inventive and lively it also had insightful, witty and intelligent lyrics delivered with emotion, bite and skill by Komla MC.

It is a huge relief in some ways that their new EP lurches straight into Up & Down a diatribe about the state of modernity, with a nice, grimy backing track from this four-piece's other three members. 'Things probably seem really bad...' begins Komla on I Knew You'd Be Alright, a laidback, optimistic number with gently strummed acoustics and buoyant synthesised bass. Electric guitars lick at the ears with all the heart-warming cosiness of The Beatles Dear Prudence remixed, and Komla repeats soothingly 'Everything will be ok.'

The cheekily titled See You Next Tuesday has a retro computer synth sound over a laidback groove, flitting into jazzier choruses where the title is spat out as Komla reels off a list of complaints in a sneer. After a foray into a angry, fuzzy breakdown a light piano trickles out of the speakers drawing this brilliantly constructed EP to a close.

In short Tiger Shadow deserve a huge ammount of recognition, this EP is a cherry on the cake and they seem to be merely teetering at the edge of their ability.