Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Music Review - Sledding with Tigers

It seems a lot of people can make songs quickly these days. With the advent of sites like SoundCloud, Media Fire, Reverb Nation, and the more obscure YouTube (not sure if you've heard of it), some people seem to think they can just write a quick song and make it available and therefore they are musicians. Let me start by saying this...no, most people are not. But Sledding with Tigers is a bit different.

This week, Sledding with Tigers released The Hill Sheep, a collection of 8 folk-punk songs. If nothing else, SWT writes and releases a lot of songs. But these aren't some basement jams with shitty drum loops and some dude who was told he could sing in Junior High and thinks he still can. These 8 songs are something a lot of those quick-release basement singers are missing: honest.

It seems the biggest part of this massive honesty is the lead singer's ability to almost laugh at himself when he realizes what he's talking about is something everyone goes through yet is a ridiculous situation we should all be able to overcome. But no one can, everyone has been there, and it isn't going to change.

The Hill Sheep breaks a bit from the previous release No Randy No in that there is some new instrumentation (a violin, or fiddle for you hipsters out there, for one thing), some more subtle tonality changes, and a more dynamic vocal range. What hasn't changed are the great group vocalizations that make you want to start singing along...even before you've learned the words. It seems "sick & tired/sick & tired" is the best examples of this, with a chorus sung behind the main chorus...utterly brilliant when you consider this is mostly one vocal with an acoustic guitar.

This a great album to usher in the end of the year and welcome the new one. With an upbeat feel even in the songs with awkward moments ("5432 Fun"), the only negative I can find is it only being 8 songs long. Luckily, with this continued free-distribution paradigm moving forward, we won't wait too long for more good tunes from Sledding with Tigers.

Where to find them:

RIYL: Matt Pond PA, Bright Eyes, Sinners Repent!

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