Underwater Tiger - Where Miles Become Meaning
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Hailing from Upstate New York, pop rockers Underwater Tiger are fighting an uphill battle. The five piece deal in the sort of music that is certainly quite saturated at the moment, with hundreds of young bands all waiting in the wings to become the next almost big thing. Their debut album Where Miles Become Meaning is eleven polished, catchy tunes that are begging for your attention.
The record kicks off with its title track, a fairly staight up pop rock track, with a bit of an epic edge. Musically, there's quite a lot happening. 'Riff! Riff! Harmonize! Riff! Random metal scream!' would be an accurate description of the song. The band are talented and certainly know how to play their instruments, however subtlty isn't a characteristic of theirs. The vocals are quite skillfully harmonized (apart from a strange hardcore shout type thing at the end, which should immediately be killed with fire), and the children's gang vocals are quite terrifying.
"Bones" is a little more nuanced, with a chorus the size of an elephant stuck in a Twinkie factory, however it's a little slower and shows off the band's talent a little more. That's something Underwater Tiger need to work on. Whilst throughout the album, it's plain to see that they are good songwriters but the release just tries to hard to stick out and ends up sounding like a mash up of hundreds of other bands. As in, they could be called You Me At A Day To Anberlin.
It's on an instrumental track quite late in the release that Underwater Tiger suddenly sound like their own band. Adding a slight post-rock edge to what is still pop-rock, the track, "Dioscuri" manages to be emotive and gripping, even without vocals or lyrics to propel it. It shows how good they can be if they just slow down and not force it. The album's closer, "The Summer Came", is quite excellent. It has a sort of positive bounce to that only the hardest of hearts couldn't warm to it, with it's catchy chorus and semi-inspirational lyrics. It's certainly the best way they could close the record.
Overall, Underwater Tiger have 'something', it's just not fully developed yet. The release of Where Miles Become Meaning may have been a little premature, the band needs to grow. Whilst, by most bands standard the album isn't bad, if they don't find a sound that's got a bit more focus, innovation, or personality, they're going to get lost in the crowd. If they capitalize on the sparks that are evident within the record, Underwater Tiger will be ones to watch in the future.