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My botany in college was shit and is shit in general (mostly because I never took the class), but in case you were wondering, there's no such thing as (a) tiger flower(s). There are such things as tiger lilies though. Glad we got that out of the way.


Album Review: TIGER FLOWERS Dead Hymns

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My botany in college was shit and is shit in general (mostly because I never took the class), but in case you were wondering, there's no such thing as (a) tiger flower(s). There are such things as tiger lilies though.

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Glad we got that out of the way.

Tiger Flowers was New York City's best kept secret. The [insert some name here with “core” at the end of it, you cretins] have been blasting away since 2007 and are finally starting to creep out of the cracks. And better late than never. With only a four track self-titled EP to go off of from 2011, it appears its time for the boys to unleash their first full length offering Dead Hymns, a spastic, bombastic, shredding, melodic, ear-splitter of a record.

You've heard it all before right? Genre melding is, like, the thing to do, right? Slap together a bunch of individually cool things to make one gigantic cool thing. Like swords and guns ala Final Fantasy VIII (which sucked shit) or a tornado and sharks (a slightly better idea). Let's just get this out of the way: describing what it's like listening to Tiger Flowers and actually hearing the band are exponentially different things. If I tell you they're the schizophrenic bastard spawn of Dillinger Escape Plan and Coalesce no doubt someone will chime, “Heard it!” Well it's true.

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Dead Hymns is a trail blazing, fly-by-night breath of fresh air. From the opening chords of “Batesian Mimicry” the reputation of the band's love for spazz is apparent. Pulsing blasts interwoven with melodic bits feel like they work surprisingly well in such sort sections. Between that and singer Jesse James Madre's raspy scream/shout circumspective lyricism give the song conviction. And that's the thing you'll notice after only a few songs on here. Anything Tiger Flowers attempts, they make work.

Another thing that makes Dead Hymns such an exciting listen is nothing feels safe. The album hits hard enough on all the genres it taps into from doom, to progressive hardcore, metallic blasts, etc., that it's never certain where its headed but its always exciting. Even when the tunes slow, such as in the bulk of “Century Blues” nothing ever really feels relaxed. Instead like the best of masters the perpetual question is “what will they do next?”

There are, what one might call, more normal or standard songs mingled in. “Midnightmares”, one of the album's best offerings, is a straightforward ballad-ish, composition that builds and breaks. And even that has plenty of twists. “The Road” is also more traditional composition, featuring more singing from Madre and even tying in the introduction riff from “Batesian Mimicry.”

I can't say Dead Hymns ever bored me. The album is ripe with blasts, melody, and crushing heaviness. It feels fresh though it isn't any territory that hasn't been explored before. The whole thing feels more like an exercise in stream of consciousness songwriting; it's not tied down. It's just awesome. Go watch the hilariously badass music video for “Cruisin' til the Wheels Fall Off” if you need confirmation. Watch it again if you've already seen it. If you like Coalesce, Dillinger Escape Plan and/or Botch then Tiger Flowers' should be the first thing on your to-buy list.

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Twitter: @CoffeeCupReview

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