Review Summary: Despite the horrible song titles, album cover and band name, Bulletproof Tiger's debut is a journey through bright canyons and dark storms that is an impressive feat of math rock.
Technical music can often times prove difficult to digest. Constant tempo changes, odd time signitures and the overall insanity that it portrays can overwhelm most listeners and the style is generally reserved only for those who seek it out. Ohio's the Bulletproof Tiger seek to remedy that problem with their first full length, You Wanna Kiss About It?
showcasing technicality alongside genuine fun.
Within 30 seconds of album opener Franko Spanko's Greatest Hit
's intro, it is obvious that the guys behind the instruments possess an abundance of talent and skill. The guitar and bass work is melodically frantic but remains tight while being complemented by the equally complex drums. Each instrument is incredibly crisp and has a bright tone. Often times, every member is playing something intricate but they never overpower the rest of the band. Everyone knows their place and their boundries and it is this sonic mastery that really allows the Bulletproof Tiger to succeed.
The difference between Bulletproof Tiger and other math bands is that though the band utilizes finger tapping and insanely gifted fretboard hands, not fingers, it is never technicality for technicalities sake. The music contains enough melody and soothing sections that listening to You Wanna Kiss About It?
never becomes a chore, but instead a delightful journey through bright canyons within the first half and a storm through the second. The band knows exactly when to slow things down so the listener doesn't become overloaded. Each song features a slower section, such as the middle of Everything Popular is Wrong
and the entirety of the appropriately titled Our Band Name Sucks
, or something more groove oriented such as the 3 second mark of Franko Spanko's Greatest Hit
that would fit right at home on a Minus the Bear record. Typically, these sections are extremely brief but they allow enough room to breathe before the tappings can resume that the listener isn't beaten over the head.
It is within the second half of the album that the band displays a much more post rock vibe and it is a welcome addition. The outro to Garth "The Belt" Brooks
treats us to our first taste of distortion while finger tapping leads us into a powerful crescendo that feels like a storm is on it's way. A third of the way through, Paper, Socks, Raper
we are treated to a soothing jazz like section with ambient chords while the drums rain down before Christopher "Walken" Reeve
has it pouring. The final track, Menter Mandman
, ends the album in the exact opposite manner that it started. Calm.
Though the album is wildly complex, it is very calculated in a manner that never feels forced and is always fun. The Bulletproof Tiger's You Wanna Kiss About It?
is a mind blowing debut that should prove to be a wonderful introduction into the world of math rock for those curious as long as they wish to think and dream with their music.