Tigers Jaw
Charmer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (24 Reviews)
June 7th, 2014 | 25 replies | 3,190 views


Release Date: 06/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Locked up with my thoughts in my head again.

There is an overwhelming aura of ambiguity throughout much of Charmer. The lyrics are always questions delivered in a vague and opaque manner. The stringed instrumentals, hinging much closer to lo-fi emo rather than the power chords of pop-punk, create a solemn and, to put it bluntly, depressingly nostalgic feel. Hell, even the title of the album, Charmer, is ironic given that once you finish listening you will more than likely feel just the opposite. And in all honesty, all these indifferent feels that Charmer reciprocates to its audience are probably the exact same feelings the band members have felt for the past four years. Seeing as just over a year ago Tigers Jaw informed their fans that three of the original five members would be departing from the band, as well as the closing statement from female vocalist Brianna Collins stating that the upcoming tour schedule would “likely be the last Tigers Jaw tours for a foreseeable future,” it really isn’t a mystery as to why the album emits such feels. But the three “departed” members decided to put together one last stitch effort into finishing Charmer. And what sounded like a train wreck, turned out to be one of the most complete alternative rock offerings released so far in 2014.

Lead vocalist Adam McIlwee is definitely the spearhead for the album success. McIlwee’s effectively somber and almost lazy drawl coincide with the (mostly)open-stringed guitar instrumentals. Title track “Charmer” is direct representative of this style, and is without a doubt one of the albums standout tracks. With a very foreboding bass-line intro that evolves into a flurry of guitar strings behind McIlwee’s self-deprecating and insecure lyrics find him pleading, saying “Definitely feeling unnecessary pain/ say that there’s no consequence/ then you walk away.” And speaking of the lyrics, the barrage of self-conscious lyrics found on here just continue to add to the albums depressing feel. While it’s nothing new in this genre of music, the questions that the lyrics bring up are definitely a more matured take than most of the finger-pointing found in much of today’s pop-punk scene. Elsewhere, lead single “Hum” gives a glimpse at what the future might hold for Tigers Jaw as remaining members Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins come together for a duet that creates some vivid imagery, with lyrics like “I’m always talking in circles / I always think ‘til I can’t sleep / You are the leaves at my feet / You are the hum of electric heat” which really paints the emotional sentiment extremely well. Another moment found on the last third of the track “Distress Signal” really brings home what all the other tracks before it have been building up with the repeated line from Collins “I don’t want to be lost like this anymore” showing the vocalist has finally hit that emotional break; the realization that all the questions and self-deprecating thoughts have finally taken their toll. It’s a truly gripping and beautifully bleak moment that in all reality should have been the closer to the album.

But it’s not, and that flaw isn't the only one found on Charmer. While closer “What Would You Do” is not a poor track by any means, it does overstay its welcome by pushing an almost 6 minute track time. It certainly wouldn't have been a problem if it was found elsewhere on the album, but with it being the closure and having to follow suit to what was already such an immaculate possibly closure in “Distress Signal” it ends up feeling like a bonus track rather than a bona fide album resolution. Also, oddly enough, tracks with a more upbeat pop-punk feel such as “Frame You” and “Nervous Kids” tend to lag behind in terms of overall quality when put in comparison with the albums other tracks. It’s not really a complaint towards those tracks as much as it is a compliment to the more lo-fi emo tracks found throughout most of the album.

What Tigers Jaw have created in Charmer is not only a fantastic punctuation mark to the end of a band that we know, but it is also a great look into what Tigers Jaw’s might sound like without three of their founding members. Let’s just say that if any of their future releases attempt to correct some of the minimal faults found in Charmer and expand on many of the grand steps taken in their maturation process, a classic could be in their sights. As it stands right now, Tigers Jaw’s fourth release is a definitive rock release for 2014 that shouldn't be forgotten by years end.



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user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally found some time to shake off the rust and write a review, hope you guys enjoy it! This album is really great and produces some of the same feels that I would get when I listened to American Football's self-titled.

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - What It Takes to Move Forward

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2014



49791 Comments


Damn gotta check for American Football comparison

Dude check out CSTVT

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's a lot of open-ended guitar segments throughout this album that give me that American Football vibe, might just be me though.

Never listened to CSTVT, any release in particular I should check out trebs, or just listen to everything?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2014



49791 Comments


Summer Fences, it's like a more post-rock influenced American Football with rougher vocals

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2014



6030 Comments


Surprise surprise another Guzzo hip ho

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SNIPED MID SENTENCE YA BISH, GOT HEM

dimsim3478
June 7th 2014



4735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this has some mad choruses on it

CSTVT rule. Nick Wakim is one of my fave emo revival frontmen and also amazing at drums.

Digging: My Psychoanalyst - Choreomania

paradox1216
June 8th 2014



430 Comments


I hear a lot about these guys, better check em out

Digging: Braid - No Coast

iswimfast
June 8th 2014



1261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love this. i like your writing. keep doing stuff.



Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you. I liked what you said. Keep commenting.


But for real though, thanks man! Its not very often that the sputz community hands out compliments haha.

iswimfast
June 8th 2014



1261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and it's a pity that's the case.

Butkuiss
June 8th 2014



4110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just dropped by to say hum is amazing

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hum is definitely one of my favorites off this.

Butkuiss
June 8th 2014



4110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, lately I've found myself tired of my usual musical intake and craving some catchy poppy goodness and this album satisfies on all levels.

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 9th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its that duet man. How can it not fulfill any need?!?!

taxidermist
June 9th 2014



7195 Comments


Thought this album would get a lot more hype.

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2014



977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, especially given the bands previous fame here and it basically being their last album as a full group.

Butkuiss
June 11th 2014



4110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I have no fucking idea why this isn't getting more goddamn hype. Sput dropped the ball.

dimsim3478
June 12th 2014



4735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, that's been happening to a ton of albums lately. You should see the new Cheap Girls album.

Futures
June 12th 2014



7922 Comments


this sounds swee gotta jam

Digging: Artificial Brain - Labyrinth Constellation



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