Spring Tigers

Spring Tigers

Bright Antenna Records, 2009


REVIEW BY: Greg Calhoun


The Spring Tigers has an appropriate name.  Like the warming of winter, this music just makes you feel good.  Their success is as unlikely as the victory of spring’s thaw – they formed five days before their first show and broke up right fter.  Yet with this first mini-album, a spot in SXSW 2010, and a full-length record in the works, the Spring Tigers has proven they have as much potential as the new season to move us.

The up-tempo introduction, “Car Song,” is incredibly likeable Britpop from an Athens band that gains legitimacy in the genre from its UK-born frontman, Kris Barratt.  Full of guitar and with synthesizer and keys in all the right places, this radio-friendly track has a chorus perfect for the season of windows-down driving and backyard barbeques.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band slows on “Hyboria,” where a bass-heavy verse with lyrics about disappointment leads to the Wall Of Sound chorus.  It isn’t as strong as the intro, but the band demonstrates their skill in packing hooks even in their weaker material.

The band follows with a mid-tempo beauty in “Just Suggesting.”  While not as upbeat as “Car Song,” the best lyrics on the album combine with catchy instrumentals for a memorable listen.  This is the emotional peak of the Spring Tigers’ debut.  Like the frontman’s plea to hear “something vital, something real,” this song delivered on my urge for feel-good music with feeling.

“Beep Beep” is an enjoyable cut, but only its chorus lives up to the standards set by the best songs.  The band leans more heavily on electronica here, with mixed results and a weaker sound.

“New Improved Formula” is a quick-paced song that uses the pre-chorus to perfection in pushing toward the refrain, which unfortunately is a forgettable let-down.  Still, it is an exciting song, although too short, as it seems to finish just as it sinks its claws in.

The band deviates from their upbeat indie-pop for the closer, “Stripmalls In The Sun.”  This is the only track resembling a ballad, and they pull it off well.  Barratt sings about an enchanting suburban life backed nicely by an acoustic rhythm guitar and a synth melody line.  His lyrics “This is your life forever now, give into your fear” suggests the subject is struggling to conform to a life lacking in substance.

This self-titled debut shows great promise.  It is a feel-better mini-LP heavy with hooks, and several songs show real artistic and emotional sensibilities. Expect much more to come from a new band that isn’t afraid to be both sweet and substantive.

Rating: B-

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© 2010 Greg Calhoun and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bright Antenna Records, and is used for informational purposes only.