Tiger Shadow - Stripe Two

Owain Paciuszko 06/11/2010

Rating: 4/5

With a certain sense of reliability that is a relief as well as a comfort, Tiger Shadow's new EP begins with buzzing bass, a body-shaking drum line, juddering stabs of guitar and the familiarly eloquent vocals of Komla MC. Opening track Inner City has a shimmering production polish, whereas previous Tiger Shadow releases have had that early hip-hop vibe this one feels like a journey down a technological time tunnel, it's gorgeous string sections and stuttering production embelishments lend a sense of modern urbanity that's apt for the track.

Like their earlier Terracotta Blues Komla uses Gambit to look at the differences between modern and 'classic' rap, it doesn't quite have the resonance of that earlier tune with Komla's lyrics not touching enough new ground but reinforcing points that clearly mean a lot to him with intelligence, creativity and skill. This EP climaxes with Good Times, a crunchy synthesised bass line and pizzicato strings motoring along skittering drums that pull over into laidback guitar lay-bys, it's reminiscent of Massive Attack and once the track fades out a reversed version of the closing refrain draws the record to a close.

After their debut LP and the highly tantilising Stripe One EP I was keen to hear the band take on a longer release, and this record feels slightly truncated. Regardless this is another great little collection of tunes, but their ability has never been in question, they've established themselves as consumate performers, and I'm eager to hear them put together their second album and showcase their passionate, intelligent and exciting music to a wider audience.