Tiny Tigers - Escape The Hum

Bill Cummings 01/03/2008

Rating: 3/5

Ever feel like you're becoming a work drone? Falling asleep at your desk and missing your tube stop on the way home, are you “becoming the person you never wanted to but seeing no escape?” Then you need the work place alienation of “Escape The Hum” the debut single from the Tiny Tigers, it will be your anthem.

This is my imaginary advert for the self released debut single from the tigerish new boy/girl four-piece hailing from the big smoke of Laandan town, infused with the spirit of the new wave punk and those heady Brit pop days of yore. A foot tapping, spiky tune, Chris King hammers guitar notes like drawing pins down your lugholes in the intro, while chopping percussion bounds purposefully. Like the Pixies, it balances rhythm and guitars satisfyingly, moving one's head to bob, then Angela Martin's sneering vocals kick you in the shins. The chorus line is the best moment as the snappy vocal interplay juxtaposes the shouty sneer of Justine Frischmann with the melodic kiss off of Echobelly's Sonia Aurora-Madan (“WORK LATE! START EIGHT! I just can't get out of my head”).

B-side “Repetition” staggers around drunkenly, all wonky guitars and wandering bass, reminding me instantly of Menswear or early Blur. The boy/girl sparring adds a different dimension but melodically it's not of the standard of the single, though there is some irony in any song about OCD that repeats itself to fade, but maybe that's all intentional?

Last up is “You're It,” a slightly disjointed effort. Chris's slightly limper vocal stylings don't quite work against the backdrop of what is an average guitar pop tune. In fact, it sounds like a track buried in one of those indie compilation tapes I used to scrape out of the bottom of a box in Camden in the mid nineties. Only the chorus flickers intermittently with a trundling early Ash-esque melody and guitar line augmented by Angela's breathy backing, however lyrical reminisces of a childhood's past feel a little trite.

With the current trend for female fronted nineties revivalism (Sonicflyer, Asobi Seksu et al) I don't see why Tiny Tigers shouldn't have the potential to connect with more people live and on record. Their songs have an earthy, personal quality and their musical style is refreshingly stripped back and at times really tuneful. They reference a period in the early nineties where some British bands still produced tunes and craft rather than the empty sloganeering of many recent acts, and for this alone they should be encouraged, I'm just not sure they're sound is fully realised yet. It's a promising start though.