Hey Tiger – September (CD)

Hey Tiger – September / 2005 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.heytigerband.com / Reviewed 15 March 2006

I’ve never gotten why there are just so many bands coming out of New Jersey at any one given time. It seems like every second or third act is a Jersey band; is it really true that every citizen of the state has a band, oir is it some bizarre patch that individuals like wearing? Anyways, as one can garner, Hey Tiger comes from New Jersey. “September” starts off with “I Don’t Mind”, a track that recalls both the strong vocals of Michelle Branch and mixes them with a heavy late-nineties alternative sound to make a hit that stretches across era to find salience with all listeners. There is consistency even considering that tracks like “Fate” have a different sound than “I Don’t Mind”. In “Fate”, heavy rock seems to be the soup du jour as Alessi’s vocals rise and fall with the stimuli that ey is given. “Ring” is an interesting track. The indeterminable age of the music during the stanzas reverts to a seventies sound for the chorus; Alessi’s vocals push forth the same pop but not pap sound of previous tracks like “I Don’t Mind”. There is a nice interaction between the guitars and drums during “Ring” that push each to even greater success, thus making “Ring” yet another hit for the band.

“Where I’ve Been” furthers the late-nineties sound of the band; it may only be Hey Tiger that can so boldly come forth with a style that most would call dated and reap the windfall that their on-disc success has. There is a panoply of differing emotions, sounds, and styles that will buffet listeners throughout “September”; the largest derivation in styles has to happen during the opening to “Simply”. Hey Tiger keeps this away from vestigial status by incorporating organ and drums into the track, which is great because a number of other acts would just try to spin the track without any contextualizing.

If Hey Tiger (or any other band) would have done that, they would have failed; it is through Hey Tiger’s sense of context that this track succeeds, and succeeds completely. The band works within the constraints of rock music to make an album that is compelling while not devoid of musical complexity. Here’s to hoping that Hey Tiger has many years of sustained success and that further albums can capture the ability that the band exhibits on “September”.

Top Tracks: Elizabeth, Fate

Rating: 6.0/10

[JMcQ]

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