Review Summary: Tiger Tunes' debut album is a sprawling collection of catchy, entertaining indie-pop with electronic influences and video game noises. The band's own enjoyment shines through and inevitably rubs off on the listener.
You may have seen me complain that the alternative/indie scene in Denmark is less than original, often drawing heavily upon influences like Jeff Buckley
and even our own Mew
. While this is true, a few bands seem to go against the now clichéed introverted approach to song writing that categorises many of the bands. Tiger Tunes, one example of this, are one of a kind. That is not to say their sound is completely new and original with no noticeable influences, but rather that its influences are so varied and numerous, and the debut album is so sprawling with different ideas pulling the listener in every direction, that the album doesn’t closely resemble anything at all.
“Absolutely Worthless Compared to Important Books” is an aptly chosen title. Not because the album is worthless, but because it expresses the playfulness, even silliness of the band. It is clear that the Tiger Tunes do not take themselves too seriously. The band has crafted a danceable, cartoonish indie pop album, steeped in electronic sounds. Another reason why the album title is significant is the shallow nature of this album. I don’t mean that to be taken as a bad thing, per se, but generally this album isn’t very profound. Listen to opener “Pancake America”: “Please wait for me. Please take me to France / These drugs are mean and there's a hole in my pants /I need you for some comfort and sex / I'll straighten it all out and make you some flapjacks”
It’s nonsensical and silly, something that is true for most of the songs here. Tiger Tunes make catchy, quirky indie pop, aiming to make you dance, or at the very least smile. Fun is at the heart of the album, and the band’s effervescence will inevitably rub off on the listener.
The album is hard to pin down because it is actually quite diverse. “Foolio” is the epitome of silliness, complete with a choir of little girls singing “lalala” over the chorus. The next track “Train Stations and Harbours and Airports”, is a rocking track, with some of the coolest lyrics on the album "We stole the words we've got and we're not giving back"
. However, Tiger Tunes seem to really come together on the single (Angry kids of the World) Unite. With its off-beat verse rhythm, catchy, cartoonish (It’s alright to use this word a few times when describing the Tunes) synth-riffs and catchy chorus, it is a really groovy song and when lead singer K. R. Hansen sings “We have ways of making you dance”
it’s hard to disagree with him.
“Absolutely Worthless…” unabashedly tackles electronica, indie, pop, rock topped off by a healthy dose of nintendo-like synth sounds. Like so many silly indie pop releases the album relies heavily on catchiness, rather than establishing an emotional theme or mood. It is obvious that the Tiger Tunes are enjoying themselves here, and they want to take you on a trap where you can share their enjoyment. Occasionally, you may feel disoriented from being pushed and pulled in different directions, but the trip is so entertaining that you cannot help but smile and enjoy the ride.
It’s hard to pick highlights on Tiger Tunes’ first release. Aside from “(Angry Kids of the World) Unite” the fantastic single, one might mention opener “Pancake America”, the fast-paced “Spring Tiger” and the aforementioned “Train Stations and Harbours and Airports” as the best tracks on the album. On the whole, you’re in for a catchy-as-hell collection of quirky, electro-indie-pop, more suitable as a party-starter than home-alone listening. It isn’t always brilliant, but the bands’ delight shines through and wins the listener over. I’ll leave you with the words of Hansen himself:
”Listen closely boys and girls
'Cause it's time to change the world
You've been angry way to long
You've got to put your hands in the air
You've got to put your hands in the air
Lonely boys and girls