At times Liverpudlian screamo band We Came Out Like Tigers’ moniker is startlingly accurate. The name and its connotations of dangerous predators out on the prowl does indeed give the listener a good indication of what to expect. This is because their debut EP ‘There Is Good Hope Thou Will Seest Thy Friends’ is a fairly confrontational record. This not because it is overly aggressive, though at times the band do carry a certain sense of menace about them, but rather because it is a challengingly hectic, and often unnerving listen.
To put it simply, there is a lot going on here. ‘There Is Good Hope…’ is a messy record which frequently delivers passing nods to both screamo and post-rock bands with the most obvious influence on show being that of I Would Set Myself On Fire For You. Specifically the use of the viola gives the music an intriguingly theatrical dimension. On the EP’s slower, more orchestral moments, it also recalls a scaled-down, more pissed-off Godspeed You! Black Emperor. While its generally dark, ominous demeanour brings to mind defunct French screamo outfit Mihai Edrisch. Also, at times (especially ‘This is the Night…’
) a shimmering black metal presence creeps in, offering variety and creating a predatory sense of hostility. Therefore, the obvious challenges that face WCOLT are sculpting their myriad influences into an original, interesting sound, while having enough cohesion to hold it all together.
Each song messily, and excitingly snaps from section to section seemingly with reckless abandon, though it is still relative cohesive. In particular, the bleak viola-driven post-rock of ‘Remember When…’
flows seamlessly from finger-tapping guitar riffs into sparkling tremolos with ease, though always maintains an engaging intensity. Similarly, the way that the comparatively focussed ‘The Ends of Ends of Eras’
is propelled by a direct rhythm section and yearning guitar chords into desperate cries of “you know I love you” is a chaotic highlight. However, there are occasional misfires – at times ‘This is the Night…’ is too abrupt for its own good and some motifs aren’t given enough time to fully develop, and the spoken-word vocals of ‘Iron Sorrows…’
seem somewhat twee and out of place. On the whole though, the band’s volatility is beneficial as it is a result of passionate musicianship and adds an exciting sense of danger.
Although We Came Out Like Tigers’ influences are easily identifiable, they ultimately succeed in bringing them together to make a sound that is all theirs. The volatile way in which each song progresses is more exhilarating than jarring, though at times inadequate structuring is an issue which impacts negatively on the development of ideas and tracks as a whole. However, this can be attributed to youth (this is the band’s debut EP, after all) and the fairly progressive nature of WCOLT’s post-rock-inflected-screamo. Overall, ‘There Is Good Hope…’ is messy, experimental, and desperate, and it is all the better for it.