Mighty Tiger – Western Theatre

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Mighty Tiger

Western Theatre - Paper Garden Records

When your music is breezy, light, and melodic, there isn’t much that can go terribly wrong.  True, the indie world might seem bloated with feel-good bands that sound like a pleasing combination of The Beach Boys and Elliot Smith, but such acts would be hard pressed to turn out anything genuinely offensive.  Those not gaining traction typically sound unremarkable, while those in the limelight stumble upon something vaguely unique but altogether catchy.  In the case of Seattle’s Mighty Tiger’s debut, Western Theatre, the young quintet falls somewhere in between.

For the most part, Western Theatre serves has a fun listen kept entertaining thanks to the occasional bout of playful lyrics.  High points, like “Rook To King,” feature a pleasing folksy 60’s pop framework held up by smart lyrical loops with obscure scientific references to “systems theory” and “accessibility studies.”  Other unique moments surface during repetitive choruses like that found in “33 1/3,” which builds itself around the idea of thirty three revolutions per minute – a reference to the play-speed of old record players.  Obviously spouting out record speeds isn’t inherently interesting, but the crisp combination of catchy choruses and layered female and male backing harmonies make for a decidedly rich example of purposeful repetition.

The album’s weaker tracks typically stray from Mighty Tiger’s central formula.  For example, “Voyeur Heaven” involves one guitarist plugging away aggressively on the same obnoxious few chords for the better part of three minutes.  Without the finesse of their usual soft atmosphere the result simply feels grating.  Likewise, when the band tries their hand at minimalist, abstract indie folk – a la the Animal Collective inspired “Chibi Girl,” – the sound of a lone banjo plucking at the same few chords gets old real fast.  Such tracks hurt Western Theatre’s dreamy flow, and would be best removed altogether.  Thankfully such missteps are not the norm.

With Western Theatre Mighty Tiger have produced a lighthearted, fun little romp through the world of laid-back, folksy indie.  There’s nothing terribly unique to be found here, but even so, most tracks hold up nicely.  If you fancy an easy listen, then Western Theatre makes for a “mighty” easy recommendation.