Seattle, Washington’s indie-rockiest trio Tiger Rider released their full-length, entirely self-produced album early in February this year, and they did not disappoint. The eponymous record Tiger Rider is full of angst and heartache, and will make you believe in D.I.Y. again.
The album begins with the song ‘Say What You Will’, a melodic, bass-heavy ode to sticking it to societal norms and redefining what ‘success’ means. The next song, Big City, is slightly more melancholic. The drums are subtle and the guitar echos slowly while the verse paints a picture of a disillusioned musician reflecting on themselves and the place they’ve found themselves in. The song swells and comes back down to a soothing, hopeful bridge before it crashes into the final chorus, and the regretful, lingering last note.
The next song, ‘Rebound’, is perhaps the catchiest of the record, detailing the frustrations and the disappointment of realizing that you are someone’s rebound. The guitar work is solid on the record as a whole, but this song stands out to me as one of the better pieces, as far as matching feeling to the lyrics. Punchy, sharp guitars punctuate the chorus, and a wailing solo comes in towards the end of the bridge- if you’re into air guitar, this is the song to practice to. The band sites Weezer as an influence on their Facebook page, and although the musical similarities are apparent in most of Tiger Rider’s new album, this song is a prime example of that influence coming through in a major (and awesome) way.
‘Ghost’, is an upbeat tribute to being ‘ghosted’ by someone, an all-too-familiar frustration, and, lastly, ‘Toxic Masculinity’ is a powerful, slow-building song about the self and self-reflection. The album then features acoustic recordings of each song on the first half, shedding a different light on the tone of the tracks, as well as bringing out some of the more subtle emotions at play.
Each instrument – vocals, guitar, bass, and drums – hits its strides at different times during the album, featuring the different players’ strengths in different ways. The vocals are distinctive and emotional, and the guitar is thoughtful and deliberate, as well as in-sync with the feeling and the sound of the lyrics. The bass is precise and up front when it needs to be, and the drums lead the way through every build up and slow down without overpowering the rest of the band. It’s clear that these musicians have put a lot of time into the quality of their sound, and work hard to blend the different aspects of the music in just the right ways.
Perhaps the most compelling thing about Tiger Rider is their firm indie convictions. The band is unsigned, and the members self-produced this record in true D.I.Y. style, while achieving a mainstream quality of sound. If you’d like to check out more of what makes this band unique, you can follow them on social media, browse their online store, and listen to the album on their Spotify below, as well as view their official music video for the song ‘Say What You Will’ at the top of this article.