Music News

Tiger Army

At this year's Warped Tour, a gaggle of fourteen-year-olds engaged in a passionate debate about Tiger Army that went something like this: One side said, "Tiger Army rocks!" and their opponents countered with, "Tiger Army sucks!" Truth is, both groups have a point. The combo, which shares this bill with the Static Age, has an immediately identifiable style, fusing punk with rockabilly via a lineup that pits singer/guitarist Nick 13 against James Meza's drums and stand-up bass courtesy of Jeff Roffredo — yet the blend is strangely polished rather than predictably retro. That's a mixed blessing, however. Music From Regions Beyond, issued in June by Hellcat Records, twangs and bangs throughout tracks such as "Pain" and "Spring Forward." But the sound is thinner than it should be (vocals included), resulting in low-impact music that's somehow less than meets the ear. Of course, the warring parties at the Warped Tour will never be able to agree with this assessment, and that's as it should be. War is hell, even when the fight's over Tiger Army.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts