Tiger Bear Wolf – s/t

Tiger Bear Wolf – Tiger Bear Wolf
Hello Sir Records – 5 Stars

I’ve got blood running down my cheek.  It’s formed a little puddle near my feet, feet which were used for running and kicking and jumping mere minutes ago.  The sweat and dirt on my brow makes my hair stick flat on my forehead.  I’ve been listening to Tiger Bear Wolf.  The group’s 30 minute debut may be the most intense, powerful, violent and wonderful rock and roll to be released in all of 2005, and as of May 20th, it‘s the best record of any kind to be released this year.  While most “heavy” rock groups are happy with turning up the distortion and palm-muting away, Tiger Bear Wolf play with the passion of Fugazi and the urgency of a Bleach-era Nirvana.  The technical proficiency of the group isn’t what matters here (though there are plenty of guitar heroics) so much as the pure love and soul that comes through the speakers.  There is serious emotion in the guitars on Tiger Bear Wolf. The blues haven’t been this real since Leadbelly recorded in Angola.  This is what the blues has become; white hot, fiery emotion, not the slicked over monstrosity that Eric Clapton has been getting away with since the early eighties.  The grit that comes from being in a small-time band in a huge musical world coupled with a love of playing rock and roll fight with one another in one of the most angry recorded outings in a very long time.  The North Carolina foursome has officially put the importance back in to rock and roll.  Every word, every note, is played with an alarming zeal and power.  Thick jams groove at a punk rock pace only to give way to bluesy solos and post-punk interlocking guitar melodies in a constantly entrancing dance.
It’s all punches and fists and broken glass and real rock and roll the way it was meant to be played:  ferociously, passionately, with the violence and force that only a group of people who genuinely love rock and roll could possibly put down on analog tape.  The furious 1, 2, 3 punch of “Input, Output,” “XXXXXX,” and the brilliantly orchestrated “You Play Guitar” is the best nine minutes of music that you will hear this year, and possibly in years to come.  Every single track on Tiger Bear Wolf bleeds all over the place, ripping its way through your arms, coursing into the veins until you don’t want Tiger Bear Wolf anymore, you need it.  If you’ve got any soul in you at all, the first time the band screams “Well I pick up my guitar because I know one thing worth saving is rock and roll,” at you, you’ll become a believer.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you about this.

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