Tiger Army Biography
Tiger Army have turned hard work and even tragedy (the shooting of drummer Fred Hell in 2003) into triumph with the release of 'III: Ghost Tigers Rise' – the album’s thirteen tracks are the band’s boldest and most compelling work yet. The music is true to the roots of the psychobilly style that the band has championed since its beginnings eight years ago, yet at the same time groundbreakingly original.
Subtle new threads emerge in songs like the beautiful “Rose of the Devil’s Garden,” which hints at the influence of 1980s dark pop à la the Smiths, the Cure and Depeche Mode. “Ghostfire” features chilling melody and an almost gothic country flavor that alternates with punk intensity. Longtime listeners will find the all the signature elements of the Tiger Army sound they’ve grown to love, along with the musical growth that becomes artists never satisfied with making the same record twice.
Not a “slow” album, Tiger Army have traded the breakneck pace of the last record 'Tiger Army II: Power of Moonlite' for a mid-tempo approach that ultimately packs more punch. The proof lies in tracks like the muscular rock ’n’ roll of “Wander Alone,” or the aggressive old-school psychobilly of “What Happens?” The country-tinged chestnut “The Long Road” sees the return of master pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz (known to Tiger Army fans for his work on songs like “Outlaw Heart” and “In the Orchard” from previous albums). From the hard-driving punkabilly anthem “Atomic” to the transcendent “Through the Darkness” which recalls the delay-soaked rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly of Sun Studios in the 1950s, 'III: Ghost Tigers Rise' is an album with as many different shades as the twilight sky.
The lyrics are darker than ever, while possessing a beauty not often found in psychobilly, punk or any other subgenre of rock ’n’ roll for that matter – Singer/songwriter/guitarist Nick 13’s lyrics seem to have an almost literary bent, but never at the expense of raw, heartfelt emotion.
Self-produced by 13, this album takes Tiger Army to a new level sonically, where meticulously crafted vintage tones meet elements of modern recording in an approach that reflects the band’s overall philosophy on embracing both the past and the future. The band’s musicianship has upped the ante considerably – for example, the playing of stand-up bassist Geoff Kresge (a relative newcomer to the instrument at the time the last album was recorded) has evolved to a level of mastery few in the world can rightfully claim. The end result is a record that is not only the band’s best, but the best 'sounding.'
'III: Ghost Tigers Rise' is a watershed album that will attract not only fans of psychobilly, but punk and hardcore, goth, rockabilly and roots music, country and rock ’n’ roll in general. For those who are seeking an antidote to the boredom and stagnation of the cookie-cutter muzak that bombards us all in the early twenty-first century, give this album a listen – you won’t be disappointed.