Album Review: Tigers Jaw – Charmer

Tigers Jaw‘s latest effort Charmer, the last featuring all the core members of the Scranton five piece, has some really strong and energetic moments reminiscent of their older albums, but somewhat struggles in its slower, played-out hooks. It is a solid release from one of Philly’s most notable young bands that continues to gain popularity despite the departure of three members, vocalist/guitarist Adam McIlwee, bassist Dennis Mishko, and drummer Pat Brier, after recording Charmer at Studio 4 with Will Yip. Tigers Jaw is now down to vocalist/keyboardist Brianna Collins and vocalist/guitarist Ben Walsh, who will be going on tour this summer with a few touring members.

The final album consisting of all five members definitely still has that energy you heard on Two Worlds, songs like “Cool” and “Frame You” are upbeat and contain the beautiful vocal harmonies that make Tigers Jaw choruses so good. Others use those harmonies over slower ambience, like “Hum,” which is infectious through its repeated revelations about the reminders of lost friendship, “I’m always talking in circles / I always think until I can’t sleep / you are the leaves at my feet / you are the hum of electric heat / I kept myself away / But I’m starting to like the pain,” and laid back guitar solo. The softer songs are more plentiful on this release, and some are noticeably more successful than others. “Charmer” has a loud, belting bridge but wallows at the beginning and end, but several of the songs seem to be a little too simple and don’t feel like they get off the ground as much as they could. Some of the best cuts from the second half are “Slow Come On” and the re-done “Distress Signals” which sounds great and fits well on the album.

The band has definitely mellowed out a bit, but Charmer is still explosive in ways that will gain them even more traction in the indie rock scene. With two nationwide tours planned for the summer, one headliner and one supporting punk/emo sensation Touche Amore, Tigers Jaw seems to be alive now more than ever.

Tigers Jaw will be going on tour with touring members in the next few weeks, with the record release show at Union Transfer on June 16th with support from Pity Sex, Loose Planes, and Petal, get tickets here.

Purchase Charmer from Run For Cover Records, or stream on spotify.

Image via bandcamp.

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