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6.05.2007- Tiger Army

Music From Regions Beyond

Hellcat

Tiger Army may have started out as a psychobilly punk band, but with their last album, 2004's III: Ghost Tigers Rise, they rose out of the SoCal scene and became a band worthy of worldwide attention -- at least within the punk rock faction of it. That album very quickly became one of my constant repeat plays and the song "Ghostfire" can easily be called one of my all time favorite songs by any band, anywhere, ever.

With their latest effort (the band's 4th, and first album to not include a number in the title), they are well on their way to bringing psychobilly to the masses. They've created a smart, pop friendly, yet punk-rooted, batch of songs rich in both melody while still retaining the band's dark tone. "Afterworld" feels like the sequel to "Ghostfire," and the remaining 10 songs feel like ringleader (vocalist/guitarist) Nick 13 decided to toss out all the rules as to what Tiger Army fans may have been expecting and made the album that he wanted to make all along.

The band has always embraced their 1950s influence, but now they seem to be shouting to the rafters their inherent love for the '80s. "As the Cold Rain Falls" sounds like the missing track from a John Hughes movie! Sure, it sounds a little too simliar to New Order's "Age of Consent," but that can be forgiven. It's romantic, moody, sad and sweet. It's the high school experience in a 4-minute song.

For the first time, a Tiger Army album is not completely self-produced. Nick 13 was joined by Jerry Finn (AFI, Morrissey, Rancid) along with a slew of A-list contributers. Guest appearances on this masterpiece (and it is a masterpiece!) include long time buddy Davey Havok (AFI frontman), Alain Whyte (Morrissey's guitarist), Brandan Schieppati (vocalist for Bleeding Through), and even Tiger Army's ex-bassist (currently playing with Horrorpops) Geoff Kresge stopped in to make some noise.

They're one of the headliners on this summer's Warped Tour. Can you guess which band I'll be structuring my entire day around?!

Tiger Army: www.tigerarmy.com