Easy Tiger is a band from DuBois, Pennsylvania band comprised of Andy Wyant (guitar/ vocals), Andrew Bailley (guitar/vocals), Karl Hoffman (bass) and Ian Aughinbaugh (drums).The band recently released Marla, which is a rock record that covers a very broad style and it’s no wonder once you look at the immensely well-known influences they sight on their Bandcamp page.
The band worked with producer Nick Forsyth who did a good job given the circumstances. They recorded DIY style and although the album suffers from a lot of the same issues most other DIY efforts do the songs are still enjoyable. Overall, the recording quality is about average for a DIY effort. In a nutshell Easy Tiger plays no frills rock that is easy to enjoy yet predictable. The band invokes rock clichés (not necessarily a bad thing) and isn’t going to test a person with a deep reservoir of nuanced musical taste.
Up first is “Clavicle” which is one of the highlights in the album. The band immediately demonstrates they have some technical skill with a prog rock style intro. After the band surges through a myriad of effective changes it finally descends into a verse. Wyant starts to sing and I thought he had a good rock voice. Unfortunately I had a tough time making out most of the lyrics due to the “artificial or organic” reverb and the lack of low frequencies.
Up next is another solid song called “Marla,” which is rock 101. The main riff is a degree away from the song “Barracuda.” Wyant sounds vaguely familiar to Lemmy from Motorhead on this song. “Prolong So Long” is kind of how I felt when listening to this song and it puts a halt to the momentum they had with the first two songs. It feels like one big, long guitar solo that goes on and on and on with intermittent vocal sections that aren't particularly hook-worthy.
The band gets back to what they do best with “Post Modern Mayhem.” For whatever reason this song’s recording quality was superior to anything else on the album. The guitar was more defined and the vocals while still really hard to understand at least cut through the mix. It’s fast, and the band rocks hard on this one. “Alter-Native” had a bit of jammy/psych/alt vibe. It didn’t work out as well as their prog/hard rock style.
They close strong with “Crutch.” The song is anthemic and contains a solid vocal performance. The song clocks in at almost eleven minutes but kind of ends at seven-and-a-half minutes. At ten minutes a single sound returns which doesn't seem worth the wait time. The song could have easily been cut down to four or five minutes and arguably be more effective.
Marla is an uneven album with some inspired moments that truly shine and others that fall flat. The band sure likes a good guitar solo and seems a bit overzealous letting the strings ride a bit too often instead of thinking of another creative way to capture the ears. The band will want to focus on zeroing in on a specific sound they can call their own because they have a very general sound which are clear reflections of very popular, ubiquitous sub genres of rock. The band has the technical skill and can deliver. Now they just need narrow in on their own originality.
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