“Fortress” by Miniature Tigers – Album Review

Photo: Wei Shi

“Rock & Roll Mountain Troll,” “Egyptian Robe,” “Lolita,” “Coyote Enchantment” these are the names of my favorite things …  and also titles of songs on the new Miniature Tigers album “Fortress.” The album starts with the magical tingly sounds of the song “Mansion of Misery”… damn this is some happy go lucky spacey kind of stuff. There’s a lot going on in this song! Pixie dust sounding chimes, marching drum beats, echoing clap sounds, possibly a theremin, synths and happy singing, textured sounds, and so many more elements shape this song into a little symphonic style masterpiece. Nice first-song impression for the Tigers’ second full-length album. Can we get a round of applause for these guys please?  “Mansion of Misery” was recorded in the woods of Upstate New York at the famed Dreamland studio which is a beautiful 19th century church-turned recording space. Sounds like a majestic place to record to me. It makes sense for all the choir style harmony saturated bands dominating ipods these days as Grimy Goods fave, Beach House, also recorded in this spot.

“Rock & Roll Mountain Troll” starts with great honest lyrics of that reclusive hermit stage everyone seems to go through, but why does society make us feel like we need to be embarrassed about it? Track four, titled “Gold Skull,” has that lazy mumble-words-together singing style that tends to sound really sexy for some reason. The song was recorded with the major electro buzz band, Neon Indian, in an all night creation session. “Egyptian Robe” is the longest song on the album and goes from A-to-B so effortlessly creating two songs in one. The sing-a-long lyrics are sure to become a favorite of live audiences, and I’m sure by the end of the year it will be one of those songs that the band breaks from singing to let the audience take over. That always seems to be an exhilarating experience for the band as well as the audience.

The entire album has a very early music feel to it reminding me a little of The Monkees, but with so much more electronics squeezed in. Singer Charlie Brand’s vocals make me feel like a swooning pre-teen ready to plaster posters of him on my bedroom walls and write on them with pink lipstick.  Tee-hee.

Fortress is out now. Find it. Listen. Love.

Also, be sure to check out our photos and review of Miniature Tigers at the Troubadour here!

Random thinking by Roxanne Hilburn

Artist: Miniature Tigers
Label: Modern Art Records
Release Date:
July 27, 2010

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