CD Review: Miniature Tigers — Fortress; Playing Black Cat, August 17 and Star Bar, August 20

Miniature Tigers
Modern Art/LG

By Eileen Tilson

Once upon a time there was a woman who ate her very first pot brownie. This “space cake” as she so cleverly called it, took about 45 minutes to effect her, starting at her tingling toes, and riding her blood waves, until her entire body felt like it was in slow motion. Everything was funny, everything was mellow, and for a brief period of time, everything seemed right in the world. This same orbit can be felt by listening to Brooklyn-via-Phoenix band Miniature Tigers’ latest album Fortress. The record is produced by Morning Benders’ Chris Chu, who brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the project through his eclectic use of echo bits, snappy snare, and twinkling synth effects. This is the lovechild of the Monkeys and the Beach Boys growing up in the Heart of Hipster Cool, Williamsburg.

“Rock n’ Roll Mountain Troll” is the trippy Bron-Y’Aur Stomp, a playful ditty, with jumpy drums and rhyming words. The album’s first single “Goldskull” (produced by Alan Palomo/Neon Indian) has the Brooklyn electronic sound that only results from being in a town surrounded by other shoe-gaze indie artists. Though with songs like “Japanese Woman Living in My Closet,” “Tropical Birds” and “Coyote Enchantment,” one cannot help but to wonder whether some of that Phoenix sun permanently bleached frontman and lead songwriter, Charles Brand’s brain. However, his use of perverse lyrics is still as strong as ever. “Lolita” is exactly as you might expect; an ode to a 17 year old who inspires “wet dreams,” while remaining surprisingly sweet.

Fortress should not be written off as music to listen to while finding mushrooms in the field. The songs are finely tuned, happy, and will be highly approved by all Pitchfork-approved, Animal Collective loving fans. Like being on a happy high, where you may not remember what happened, but you know that you enjoyed it, Miniature Tigers will leave you with a smile.

Miniature Tigers play Black Cat on August 17…

… and Star Bar on August 20.

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