Rockabilly Roots: They’re Grrrrrreat!
Old proverbs say that through adversity and challenge, a tiger will â€šÃ„Ãºshow his stripesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ by overcoming all obstacles. The same can be sad for Los Angels-based psychobilly outfit Tiger Army, who have finally released their heavily anticipated third album, III: Ghost Tigers Rise. Initial delays for III were caused by a heavy demand for touring after 2001â€šÃ„Ã´s II: Power Of Moonlite introduced new fans to the unorthodox pairing of the soaring vocals and steady beat of rockabilly with Misfits style goth-punk for a groovinâ€šÃ„Ã´ and ghoulinâ€šÃ„Ã´ genre known as psychobilly. The recording process was then halted in Spring 2003 after drummer Fred Hell was shot four times, and was not resumed until vocalist Nick 13 and bassist Geoff Kregse combined with temprorary drummer Mike Fasano earlier this year. On III Tiger Army takes it down a notch, cooling considerably from the pace of earlier albums to focus more on their rockabilly and country roots. Besides the rowdy â€šÃ„ÃºWander Aloneâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºSwift Silent Deadly,â€šÃ„Ã¹ most tracks feature a distortion-less hollow electric guitar much in the way of Brian Setzer or early Elvis Presley. Instead of aggressive anthems, III highlights melodies and rhythms and allows the listener to appreciate more the powerful songwriting and chilling croon of frontman Nick 13. 13 maintains the same dark focus as in earlier work, but in his latest tales of love, death, and demons his perspective is much more intricate and reflective. So although III: Ghost Tigers Rise might seem slow to fans of Tiger Armyâ€šÃ„Ã´s heavier side, its complete sound, unity among elements, and excellent storytelling should enlist followers old and new.