Bogey Would Be Proud
With a heavily fuzzed-out start/stop bass riff and a pummeling drum line, The Big Sleep open Son of the Tiger with the completely instrumental workout “Brown Beauty.” Escalating tension drives the guitar until the main melody is accompanied by artfully placed feedback. Only a small taste of what trio Danny Barria (guitar), Sonya Balchandani (bass/vocals) and Gabe Rhodes (drums) are capable of, Son of the Tiger is an excellent hybrid of shoegaze, Sonic Youth-style experimentation and Smashing Pumpkins-style alternative rock.
In fact, the SY and SP influences can be noticed almost instantly on the rocking “Murder,” where Balchandani speak-sings a la Kim Gordon and Barria shreds out riff after riff of slightly modulated guitar fun. Elsewhere, “S.K.B.” and “Menemy” find guitars washed in reverb/chorus pedals and the pace slowed dramatically to a patient march. It’s this dichotomy of rambunctious tunes and lush psychedelics that make The Big Sleep so compelling. The dynamic range helps make each variation pop as Siamese Dream did over a decade ago.
Particularly strong is the instrumental number “Are You Ready (For Love)?” (the guitar line here punctuated by the drip-drop of a keyboard note) and “Shima” (which starts out trippy, but builds to an epic rocking finale). “You Can’t Touch the Untouchable” also stands out as an early favorite as the band jams out on a two-note feedback solo, melding the noise back and forth over a sparse keyboard line. The Big Sleep’s Son of the Tiger is a record full of promiseâ€šÃ„Ã®a foundation is laid for a bright future.