Releasing an album even though they announced a hiatus was no small feat for Tigers Jaw. That was back in 2014 and with their last album “Charmer.” Shortly afterward the quintet lost three of its members. Now the duo, who remain still out to make new music, did just that. The band has now released their fifth studio album “Spin.” Surprisingly enough it sounds just as good if not better when they were a full outfit.
Based out of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Tigers Jaw got their start around 2005. They became most well known for their blend of emo and indie rock. Back then the band released their debut album “Belongs to the Dead” in 2006. They wouldn’t find much mainstream success until the release of their fourth studio album “Charmer,” which gained much critical acclaim and did respectively well here in the states on the charts. After that album, the band officially became a duo now only consisting of Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins, both of which provide vocals on tracks, with Walsh playing drums, guitars and bass while Collins additionally provides keyboards. The band shows no signs of slowing down and this is clear with the release of “Spin.”
“Spin” is a 11-track record that clocks in at around 39 minutes in length. Fans of Tigers Jaw will notice just how much hasn’t changed within this record. Despite the huge shift within the band, the style of emo and indie rock remains mostly intact. With Walsh’s somber and dark vocals being a huge driving point on a lot of the slower songs, Collins rivals that with her much melancholy sound on some of the more upbeat tracks of the record. “Spin” provides listeners with infectious harmonies and melodies. There is a lot to enjoy within the record, while it is moody and tends to be haunting, it still is an enjoyable listen.
Musically, everything in “Spin” comes in pairs. That mostly is playing off the idea of the band being a duo now. With duets masterfully executed on tracks such as “Escape Plan” or “Follows.” The band has proven to be just as strong as ever with their sound “Guardian.” Fans will appreciate that the sound hasn’t changed much within this record. If anything, you will notice is the lack of variety in this record. It all has a sense of familiarity as if the band weren’t trying something new. Mostly from “Follows” to “Window” you feel like you have heard it all. While the one acoustic track “Bullet” does change up the pace enough to notice, it isn’t enough to save the whole record.
Lyrically, this is a dark record. It deals with a lot more serious issues within a relationship. It is hard not to connect with some of the topics within “Spin.” When listening to tracks like “Guardian” or “Brass Ring” you cannot help but connect with the issues that face long-term relationships. What sells a lot of these issues and themes is the vocals of both Collins and Walsh. One of the standouts on the record is “Escape Plan,” which deals with the personal conflicts and having someone be there for you. The track is mostly benefiting from Walsh’s vocals. His dark and brooding vocals drives home the feelings of everything wrong with these issues. If anything can be said about what is in “Spin,” it is that this duo has no trouble emotionally selling you what they are singing about.
Should you listen to it?: Yes!
Tigers Jaw have done something respectable with “Spin.” They proved that they are just as powerful as a duo as they are a full outfit. That being said, “Spin” is a great emotional record full of a lot of deep and somber tracks. If anything, the one thing holding it back from being a phenomenal record is the lack of risk present. If there was more variety or an attempt at something different, Tigers Jaw would have stumbled upon something great. However, for what they produced it is one record that is a must listen to for any fan of emo, indie rock, especially if you are a longtime fan of the band.