Tigers Jaw are enchanting – I just can’t put my finger on what makes them so.
My first exposure to Tigers Jaw was through their 2008 self-titled album. Their song, Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine felt so fresh compared to everything else that I was listening to at the time.
It’s hard to tell if there is anything exceptionally special about Guardian, but certainly still possesses that Tigers Jaw charm. It’s just nice. I won’t proclaim to be a huge Tigers Jaw fan – I do enjoy their self-titled album as well as Charmer, but beyond that, I couldn’t really talk about any of their songs from before 2008. This is the first single from their fifth studio album, Spin, set for a May 19th release – coinciding with the start of a fresh U.S. tour.
When observing the meaning behind the track, it transforms a sweet song into an even sweeter one. In 2013, three out of the five members decided to depart the band for ‘personal reasons’ – many postulated the end of Tigers Jaw. Fortunately, vocalist and guitarist Ben Walsh, as well as vocalist and keyboardist Brianna Collins, persisted as a two-piece. Members of familial bands, such as Basement, filled in the roles of drums and bass in order to complete the 2013 UK tour.
It’s rather humbling to know that this delicate, intricate song was written and performed by only two people; it feels as though each instrument added only serves to reinforce how strong their band is, despite the jarring change to the line-up only a few years prior. It’s refreshing to hear – as I mentioned in my Cassels review, I tend to gravitate towards songs with simple drums and distorted guitar, and bands like Tigers Jaw have perfected this art. The music itself appears simple, though it could not be any more difficult to try and replicate.
Despite my previous praise, I must warn that Guardian is not entirely different from earlier outputs from the band. It’s definitely worth a listen, but it proposes nothing new to old-school Tigers Jaws fans. Although, one notable difference lies within the vocals. I’ve heard criticisms of bands, such as Tigers Jaws and The Front Bottoms, claiming that their vocals are too ‘whiney.’ Guardian is certainly not a ‘whiney’ song.
Overall, this track is pretty darn chill. It’ll inevitably become one of those songs that I put in a playlist that I listen to whilst trying to smash out an essay. It’s melodic and the lyrics are not really worth over-analysing, but I’m sure I won’t get bored of it. One more thing I should mention is the length of the song; at over four minutes, in my opinion, this isn’t really a song to bust out at a gig – or to introduce someone to Tigers Jaw.
It’ll become a background song, but a good one.