tigersjaw.jpg “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.

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Pop Punk Passion, Part 2

  1. I loved the song Spirit Desire. I think it’s my favorite song that you’ve recommended, I like it even more than Dizzy on the Comedown (which I still think was great).

    Some albums just speak to us, and will mean something to us forever. Whether that’s because of the time when it first became important to you, specific memories with the album, or just because the songs are amazing, albums can really stick with a person. One of my all time favorite albums is Pure Heroin by Lorde. You may not be a huge fan of her, but she’s my favorite artist, and I think her songs are beautiful. She writes all her own lyrics, and you can just feel the personal connections she has with the songs.

    From that album comes my favorite song of all time, which I affectionately call my “jam of all jams”. It’s called 400 Lux. The lyrics don’t always make sense, the beats can be repetitive, blah blah- but this song is beautiful and means more to me than any song ever will. You should check it out.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWGQduke0tc

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    1. I’m glad you liked it! I’ve never really listened to much of Lorde, though I’ve heard a couple of her songs- I’ll try to check the album out based on your recommendation!

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  2. This is the kind of music that would make for a really comforting movie soundtrack but is also good enough to just exist. I think that if more people took the time to listen to them, they would become their favorites. While music that is “popular” or the only songs allowed on the radio or the top charts on Itunes is okay but not everyone could relate or find appealing. Groups like this that aren’t in the spotlight I think have greater power because they get a fan base strictly from their sound and not because someone else deemed them worthy enough to listen to. I think that it would surprise a lot of people to know that there are communities of people who like different types of music that probably outshine their community when it comes to commitment of the band or artist.

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    1. I really agree with you; I think most of the bands I recommend are hardly cutting edge or avant guarde, they’re just really good while also existing outside of the sphere of most people’s musical knowledge. Commitment to artists in different types of communities can take on so many different forms, it’s crazy. Some people will listen to a band that’s been going strong for twenty years and will only know the popular singles, and others will devour debut albums repeatedly. It’s an interesting phenomenon to see.

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  3. Referencing is one of my favorite things in music, I don’t feel like it happens enough. It’s just something that makes the music more real to me, it reminds me that we are all here on planet earth, and we are all connected in some way. Even though it’s only Twin Peaks, that kind of a reference gives me more of an insight into the people creating the music and allows me to connect with them on a more personal level (since i love the show Twin Peaks and anything like it). I agree with Catherine that bands that are not in the mainstream, are always going to be more powerful; they don’t try to water down their messages as to insure no one getting offended. They create the kind of music they want, and refuse to shy away from their opinions and messages they wish to share.

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