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Music Review: Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

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Labeled one of Alternative Press’ highly anticipated albums of 2007, Tiger Army has released Music From Regions Beyond on Hellcat Records. With their special blend of punk and rockabilly it is the band that everyone into the punk rock genre really needs to check out if they have not already. Most commonly known as a psychobilly band, Tiger Army may have released their best CD to date.

Formed in California in 1995, Tiger Army along with their unique musical style caught the attention of famed musician Tim Armstrong (Transplants, Rancid, Op Ivy) who signed them to his label Hellcat Records. The years as a band were not easy and at times when most would throw in the towel Tiger Army refused to give up. Members disbanded for different reasons personal and musical. One of the members actually left because he got shot and his recovery was not up to his expectations prompting his decision to leave.

On a positive note, when a member left someone always stepped up to replace or help the band; Credit Nick 13's great friendships. When Tiger Army played their first show they had no drummer so they borrowed their good friends AFI’s drummer. The good friendship and support AFI and other friends further helped Tiger Army from the time of small club shows to the huge venues.

The long hard journey of Tiger Army has paid off. They have a giant fan base with some extreme fans even getting the “Wear Cat” logo tattooed on their bodies to show love and support to the band. Already conquering the famous Van’s Warped Tour this past summer the band continues with its own tour in support of the summer release Music From Regions Beyond and the fans could not be happier.

Just when I thought I have heard everything I threw this disc in and was amazed. The mix up of rockabilly with punk rock has never sounded so good. At times I felt the stand-up bass was not as strong as previous releases but there were a couple of cuts that really had the psychobilly feel. The vocals were all next to perfect in each track for this album.

The intro to this CD “Prelude: Signal Return” gets the blood pumping and flows right into “Hotprowl” with vocals of Davey Havok of AFI. A couple of guest screams are provided by Brandan Schieppati of Bleeding Through to make this a great sounding song.

The bands first single “Afterworld” has been played all over the radio and I will agree with most, this song is great and deserves to be played over and over. The song seems a little darker than their older material thanks to Davey Havok lending his vocals once again.

My favorite cut on this disc is “Forever Fades Away.” Even if this was the only song on the CD I cared for I would still buy the album to have the song in my collection. Once in a great while a song is created that not only means something to you but stays with you for years and this is one of them. I know ten years from now I can find this song on my 100 terabyte iPod (anything is possible) and still feel the same way I feel today about the song.

Other tracks worth checking out if you are into rockabilly more so than punk are the stand up base thumping “Ghosts Of Memory” and “Pain.” “Hechizo de Amor” (Spell of Love) is beautiful but in Spanish so I myself really do not know the song's message. 

 Closing track “Where The Moss Slowly Grows” almost bids you a farewell and thanks you for being there for the band whether you are a personal friend or a devoted fan. Thanks may also need to be given to producer Jerry Finn (AFI, Rancied, Morrissey) or to Davey Havok for making this album what it is but Nick 13 deserves all the credit as he wrote all the songs.

In my opinion this has been a good year for CD releases and Music From Regions Beyond is officially at the top of my list sans a couple of my all time favorite bands putting out albums. This CD can easily be played over and over without making your ears bleed. If you have no idea who Tiger Army is you should do the band a favor and give them a chance.

For a band that was near breaking up at times it is great to hear such a solid album. Fans of AFI (of course), Rancid, the Horropops, or just rockabilly in general will appreciate this CD. Who knows you may turn into an instant fan once you get through the eleven tracks. Now if you deem it necessary to get a “Were Cat” tattoo, that is entirely up to you.

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About Brian McConville