It seems like Tiger Army have been toiling away manfully for the last decade, vying for their place in the US underground. Purveyors of Pyschobilly, Tiger Army have built a loyal following stateside and have made a few ripples this side of the pond, even listing the great Morrissey as one of their fans and securing a support slot for some of his recent US and UK shows. Nick 13 the guitarist and vocalist is the only original member of Tiger Army and he provides the creativity and songwriting force for the newer recruits to follow.
Not being an afficanaido of Psychobilly this was a whole new experience for me and in the true spirit of journalistic research I made sure I did my homework. All the ingredients that mark out the genre are present; stand-up bass, occassional horror references and coiffed hair (think bastard love child of Marc Almond). As for the music, things open with Prelude: Signal Return and then break out into the album proper in the form of Hotprowl. The punk influence is evident with most songs clocking in short of three minutes and the double bass give a bubbling energy and sinister undercurrent. On the whole things move along with a pogo in the stride and a hook in the chorus. The likes of Afterworld and Pain have energy in droves which many bands seem to have lost these days as their careers drop in intensity following the second album.
The real beauty here lies in the slightly less frantic moments. Forever Fades Away is as emotionally fraught as the title would suggest and Where the Moss Slowly Grows is the most accomplished track on show and demonstartes that even Psychobillies have a sentimental side.Tiger Army are building a fanbase the old fashioned way: hectic touring schedule, word of mouth and a catalogue of decent tunes to boot. The Tiger bat icon which adorns their merchandise and devotees tattoo on their bodies adds to the mystique. Seems like Mozza is as good a judge of a band as he is an artist in his own right.