Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't clean up squad

Soft Tigers - Creation

Record labels shape a band's image. This is not a revelation, but something worth keeping in mind. It depends on the sort of music yr listening to, but it's bound to crossover into the majority of band's image and direction. Take Sydney band Soft Tigers. I think I'd heard one or two mp3s (myspace) from the band but the rest of my idea of the band was 'one of those fashionable bands that plays indie nights like BAD KIDS RECREATION CLUB or whatever but is still actually good'. I liked the notion that the band had promise of substance over style (or substance to back up style, rather) and now I know it's true after hearing the new full length and interviewing one of their members - Neil - on the phone about new album Gospel Ambition. I was in a park near my house, I had climbed to the top of some strange children's playground spaceship (I'm not sure why - looked like fun I guess) and I was informed and felt like I knew Soft Tigers even without seeing them play live or having heard their album. Now that I've heard it, it comes together, even if it's audibly a 'debut' record, a little uncertain even if it's not lacking in confidence. Quirkiness is virtue though and as Gospel Ambitions rambles is mostly very endearing. It's cut and pastey and often silly They're a varied band, fuzzy and young and doing it for themselves, for sure, even if the first three singles are the record's most poppy and upbeat and disco-like and easily fit into a Triple J world of trendiness, carefully engineered to appeal to the indie kidzz who maybe it'll be a little too fuzzy for or maybe just lo-fi enough. I'm not being cynical, in fact I think it's a terrific idea to market a band in this way. I'm just stoked that there's a lot more to them than this as shown by the above track and the rest of the record. They're bound to polarize, though; straddling hipsterdom and geekdom in even parts. They're really into Wu Tang's 36 Chambers, too. Perfect!


Philippe said...

I have never seen a good live review of this band. I can understand why after I saw them for the first and second time. Such a shambles on stage and uncoordinated.

I'm not holding my breath on the album.

matt said...

I'm looking forward to hearing this record - I love MARIA, and I thought they were fantastic live too, kinda like a raucous AIH.