So, I’m about to share my thoughts with you on this new self-titled TYGERS OF PAN TANG album (March 24, Mighty Music). Now, I’m not gonna come in here like some goddamn purist who’s been following them for years, or anything. Admittedly, I never heard a note until 2014 when someone pointed me to a YouTube channel featuring their 1981 album Spellbound, which I fell in love with. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, know that I am approaching this album with fresh ears and no pre-conceived notions. I will say this however: this record fucking ROCKS HARD!!
Opener “Only the Brave” is the prototype for how to open a motherfucking rock and roll album 100%!! This song jams a hundred ways to Sunday and it’s one of the record’s best with a hellacious vocal from Jacopo Meille. Man alive, this man can sing! The riff machine powered by guitarists Robb Weir and Micky Crystal is loaded with coal to keep the fires burning on this and just about every other track. Want proof? Next song “Dust” is all you need. This is as potent a one-two punch as it gets, y’all. It feels like the good old days of metal again and we’ve barely begun!
Next up is “Glad Rags”, a number that bounces and bops along in such a way it’s impossible not to love it. It’s also impossible not to have the chorus stuck in your head the rest of the day, that’s for sure. “Never Give In” is a full court press from start to finish, the guitars soaked in kerosene, and the rhythm section of Craig Ellis (drums) and Gav Gray (bass) locked in and ready to burn the place down. “The Reason Why” is a really nice quasi-ballad that picks up on the hook; it’s really something and makes for a great listen.
From here we get back to the business of kicking ass and taking names with “Do It Again,” another fast-paced riff-crazy song that will make virtually everyone want to break speed limits by double digits. “I Got the Music In Me” is a feel-good anthem that also benefits from ballsy guitar work, and yet another great track on an album chock full o’ them. This gives way to an acoustic-electric number “Praying For a Miracle” that perfectly balances the soft side with an almost pop-rock feel. This is followed by the hungry and gritty guitar groove of “Blood Red Sky.”
A brief interlude is next in “Angel In Disguise,” an acoustic ditty that lulls us into a relaxing state before “The Devil You Know” closes the album in earnest. A hammering bass line from Gray drives the tune and the twin guitar attack gets fiery one last time while Meille lets it fly on the hooks. All told TYGERS OF PAN TANG did such a great job on this record, they really did. I have had it since December of last year and it still gets several spins a week. This is a collection of songs that rocks balls, never gets old, and keeps getting better, listen after listen. Well done, boys!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM