Miniature Tigers’ debut provides quick, yet infectious experience
General Manager, WKNC 88.1 FM
Despite being named as “one of the 25 best bands on Myspace” in December 2006 by Rolling Stone magazine, Miniature Tigers remain largely anonymous. But this Pheonix, Ariz., band, masterminded by singer/guitarist Charlie Brand and drummer Rick Schaier, have released an album of harmonious, catchy, indie-pop songs which threaten to permeate throughout the popular music scene much like Vampire Weekend and MGMT did earlier this year.
Miniature Tigers’ debut, Tell it to the Volcano, was released this September, and the band embarked on its first ever national tour in October.
Volcano opens with a track called “Cannibal Queen” which is reminiscent of Ben Kweller in style and delivery, maintaining a straight road towards a state of light, breezy, indie pop. Other standouts like the title track, “The Wolf,” “Annie Oakley” and “Tchaikovsky & Solitude” represent a continuation of the style the album builds from its opener, and each track is as catchy as the Bubonic Plague.
Listening to Tell it to the Volcano in its entirety, Miniature Tigers sounds like a seasoned band, not one that’s just beginning to tour. All the pieces of the complex pop songs fit together just right, making them stick in your head after only one listen. The major flaw of the album lies not within the content, but with the sheer lack of quantity. The album has 11 tracks, none of which exceed three minutes and 31 seconds, bringing the total album length to a paltry 29:05. A short collection of two minute songs can serve to curb the musical ADHD which listeners can oftentimes suffer, but ultimately the brevity of the album leaves the consumer craving more content.
An excerpt from their website perhaps sums them up best: “Miniature Tigers combine influences ranging from The Beatles to The Beach Boys, from Pinkerton to Indiana Jones, creating infectious, pitch perfect indie-pop that boldly wears its heart on its sleeve. In the world of Miniature Tigers, songs of unrequited love and relationship anxiety are transformed with animal metaphors and translated into gripping adventure narratives populated by Vikings, swashbucklers, gunfighters, cannibals, undersea creatures and dinosaurs.”
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.