Like the decade of the '80s itself, too many of today's retro-electro bands value style over substance and irony over originality. Santa Barbara's Kissing Tigers are delightfully free of that. Their debut long-player, Pleasure of Resistance, features mature songwriting, lyrical depth and infectious melodies that just happen to be realized using Old Wave synthesizers and other signifiers of the Reagan era. Whereas the Faint can barely dislodge its tongue from its cheek long enough for a sincere utterance, the Tigers proudly showcase their perfect pop compositions and impressive musicianship with hearts on sleeves and hands in the air. Bassist Mark Legaspi, guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Dave McKay and guitarist/vocalist Jim Weir met in the dorms at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001 (yep, they're that young) and were later joined by synth man Eugene Row and drummer Dan Harshman. In their short history, the Tigers have made a name for themselves with two darkly danceable discs and countless manic live shows that manage to wring at least a toe-tap -- if not an all-out rump-shake -- out of even the most jaded, skinny-tie-cloaked scenester.
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