# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Tigercats - Isle of Dogs

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 3 / 5 / 2012

Tigercats - Isle of Dogs
Label: Fika Recordings
Format: CD


Imaginative debut album from acclaimed East London-based C86 revivalists, Tigercats

In dusty rooms above London pubs, a C86 revival has been brewing for nearly five years now – club nights where punters are more likely to be offered cupcakes than cocaine; where the back catalogues of Belle and Sebastian and Arab Strap have assumed legendary status. Bands like the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and the Drums gave those club-nights some new tunes to mix in with ‘Velocity Girl’ and ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’; but eventually they also gave an audience to some new local bands as well. One beneficiary, Allo Darlin', appear on the verge of commercial breakthrough, labelmates Evans the Death might not be far behind. In that context, Tigercats must be feeling very optimistic, and press coverage so far suggests they could be about to have a very successful (a recent article in 'The Times' described them simply as “a very, very good band”). All these bands have developed exceptional live shows. Now its time to see if their records can do them justice… You’ll recognise all their influences – the duelling guitars of Television, the well meaning ‘white boy plays funk’ basslines of Orange Juice and the celebrity namedropping and arcane wit of early Television Personalities. Or (you want some contemporary reference points) they have a bit of the Strokes, a bit of Los Campesinos and a bit of Vampire Weekend. Don’t be fooled by their links to indiepop and horrible memories of Bobby Gillespie singing flat over guitarists with no sense of rhythm – the Tigercats can really play. Witness the extended guitar jam that closes ‘Limehouse Nights’, or the infectious groove of ‘Full Moon Reggae Party’. Where the original wave of C86 bands’s inability to move beyond the most basic musical structures betrayed a simple lack of talent, Tigercats have the musical ability to allow their imagination to roam free. The only distinctively ‘indie’ element of the Tigercats sound is Duncan Barrett’s never knowingly on-key vocals, all dropped aitches and half formed tees. The album comes together with the show-stopping ‘Banned at the Troxy’, where Barrett mixes romantic nostalgia with a snarly put-down of his band’s discreditors. Built around a repeating, immediately familiar guitar riff, the track builds relentlessly into a mess of feedback and furious drumming. After this, the album ends with the gentle ballad, ‘Jonny’, written and sung by keyboardist Laura Kovic, a short and simple paean to a lost love, the perfect way to wrap up what has come before. ‘Isle Of Dogs’ may come packaged with a recipe for chocolate cupcakes, but it will appeal to people who wouldn’t dream of dancing to Belle and Sebastian.

Track Listing:-
1 Coffin For The Isle Of Dogs
2 Konny Huck
3 Full Moon Reggae Party
4 The Vapours
5 Stevie Nicks
6 Harper Lee
7 Limehouse Nights
8 Kim & Thurston
9 Easter Island
10 Banned At The Troxy
11 Jonny

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