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Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger! Dark Shoegaze Alt-Rock Album Bloom

Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!’s new album Bloom

Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger! also known as TSTT are from Italy and released their first album in 2008. The upcoming album Bloom is as good as anything they have created and is available on February 23rd 2024 on the labels To Lose La Track and Coypu Records.

TSTT embrace a shoegaze spun with 90s alternative underground rock. Their sound is as if Sonic Youth, Jesus and The Mary Chain and No Age had a punk baby. The grinding fuzzed guitars hit with rhythmic power and can splatter into feedback and echoes repeating into infinity. The bass line hit hard with deep tones backing the guitars adding to the big sound of the alternative 90s. The vocals are drifting, apathetic with attitude.

The voice is tenor range doubled, overdubed, chorused, and reverb drenched in true shoegaze style. It has an edge that is raspy and raw, completing the sustained vowel sounds with sandy grit for a punk tone.

The band’s sound is big and dynamic with quality recording and production. This adds to the 90s alternative sound because, in the 90s, alternative bands achieved big sounding records with the support of the record labels. Their dynamic sound going from bleak to layered walls of sound give the songs direction and variety. TSTT has the unique ability to capture a scene with its sound. The music spreads across tundras of snow and ice or reaches back in time to the golden era of underground west coast rock. The album has a melancholic sound made highly digestible with compositions that bloom and grow.

TSTT started in 2007 and in 2008 they released their first album and were featured on the soundtrack for the movie ‘Hated‘ by Lee Madsen. Their presence grew, being featured in Spin Magazine and was featured on a BBC TV series in 2010. Their album ‘Forever Young‘, released in 2014, captured the band’s electrified live performance energy on a studio album. Energized drums, crashing cymbals, fast strummed guitar lines and emotional vocals found on this album became cornerstones of their sound.

Corners, released in 2017 brought a new level of recording quality and studio savvy from the band. The music began to show the bands desire for a big dynamic sound that pushed into experimentation and dipped its toe into noise. The guitar tones are more crafted on corners, the drums are mixed well and the vocals more laid back and alternative.

Bloom, their latest release, shows further evolution in their creative process. Everything feels more refined with intentional rough edges for a gritty sonic aesthetic. Their songwriting embraces sustained notes typical of post-rock and the power of focused loud and soft as well as controlled and unbridled rock. They strike true on the alternative 90s sound and bring in shoegaze styling throughout.

Bloom is a darker album then its predecessors. They tap into a heavy sound that is restrained; moments in the album almost feel like a post-rock form of doom. This is not surprising considering song titles like ‘Dark Age / Dark Thoughts‘ and ‘Empty Pool‘.

The first single from Bloom is ‘Stones‘, complete with a new music video. This song reveals one of the many shades of rock that are captured on Bloom. Their black leather and black sunglasses lying on the floor in gothic repose. The guitar lines ring out with bite and held notes modulate with the vibrato and shimmering reverbs. The music video brings home the range of the bassist hammering out running lines and chords on the bass to give the song its power. The overall vibe of the video is very cool with a Jim JarmuschOnly Lovers Left Alive‘ feel.

Bloom is a well done album that is explicit in revealing its many inspirations. The single ‘Stones‘ gives an overview of the musical direction of the album. However, each song has a unique subsection of the post-rock, 90s alternative and shoegaze genres. This thoughtful variety feels cohesive and diverse, making each song important for the arch of the album. Bloom excels at producing rich tones across all instruments individually amplifing the sound as a whole. The band clearly expresses their artistry and they push themselves to not settle for repetitive or overtly comfortable songwriting. Even sections where the music is simple great effort has been placed on the tone and context making the album enjoyable for deep listening.

Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger! has moved their sound forward on Bloom. Everything is moodier, darker, slower than previous albums. The tonality created by their effects and instrumentation is lush and refined. The core motivations of the band are still present, but TSTT places more emphasis on capturing the listener with quality writing and production rather than the live energy expressed in earlier albums. The power of the songs comes from restraint and targeted volume dynamics. On Bloom, TSTT sustains tension that releases and grows throughout each track. The release of tension is in the form of beautiful chords supported by thick low notes and atmospheric guitar chords that hover in the air as the next chord presents itself. The vocals stay mellow, moody, and distant, driving home the feeling of unease.

Grab your dark sunglasses and leather jacket and let Bloom be your soundtrack to a rainy, mysterious and deviant evening.