“Lie to me like you used to. Tell me everything is how it should be. Lie to me. Did you have to? ‘Cause in the end it never matters what I think.” ~ Plane Vs Tank Vs Submarine
Today’s post is brought to you by Tigers Jaw, a pop punk band that dabbles in the indie and the emo. Tigers Jaw is a serious problem of mine; I discovered them shortly before the end of 2016, and in the time since I’m completely certain I’ve listened to their albums Tigers Jaw and Charmer over one hundred times. I’m quantifying my time with these albums as a testament to the quality of these albums. Tigers Jaw, at times, strays even further from pop punk than does Joyce Manor. On their self-titled, some songs are 90% acoustic, until, at the last moment, they kick up louder drums and guitar and throw some well-meaning crooning into the background. With Charmer, their most recent release from 2014, you can hear the evolution of their sound, and the best word I can use to describe the sound is satisfying. It makes my ears happy, and just sounds more full than their previous work.
They’re similar to Joyce Manor in that some of their best stuff is barely two minutes long, but they’re more willing to repeat chords and lyrics to extend the atmosphere they create. Spirit Desire is a perfect example (as well as the perfect example of an anxious crush; we’ve all been there) of that extension.
What makes these guys special? They’re a band that makes you want to sit down, play their album, and think. Sit down, and remember. “Memories are taped on our walls, hung as a reminder. How easy it could be, when we weren’t growing apart.” (Courtesy of Hum, if you’re interested). Life is a messy conglomerate of memories, and a lot of them are bittersweet, and this band cuts into that. Cathartic seems like a fair word to use when you’ve listened to an album.
Charmer is undoubtedly one of my favorite albums, not just of the band, but of all time. It’s not just bittersweet; this album is a depiction of loneliness, self-centeredness, and at times, self-destruction, and it’s an illustration of everything no one wants their lives to turn into, but that everyone has some pieces of. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s chock-full of Twin Peaks references, a television show that’s on Netflix that you should go watch if you haven’t already.) There’s an official Pitchfork review that says more here.
We always want what is kept from us- don’t let Tigers Jaw be one of those things.