Tigers Jaw will keep doing what they do. No matter who’s in their line-up. It’ll be authentic, raw, poppy punk with earnest soul and heartfelt emotion – all meted out via catchy, anthemic beats and melodic tunes to foot-tap and head-bob to. The sway of Charmer reaffirms this in the truest sense. It’s a record in which they don’t reinvent the wheel but instead opt to stick to their basics while churning out their strengths with endearing purpose. It feels free and with less restriction, Tigers Jaw blooms.
Songs like “Cool” and “Hum” feel breezy yet very indie. A lot of this album feels like some tracks were sped up to fit some sort of novel which they wanted Charmer to be. It’s laid-back and these tracks signify why this pattern is kept – Tigers Jaw wanted to keep their original sound but more tapered and melodramatic, which will stay the course of their discography, despite the number of bands in their circle varying their respective sounds. Tigers Jaw stick to slower tempos more here but at day’s end, it’s a reassured and nifty vibe that enhances the listen.
It’s overall a calmer and minimal sound – toned with simple yet palpable instrumentation. “Nervous Kids” adds that garage/demo feel for good measure as well to show while there’s room for a little flair, there’s no need to skip the dirty sound that made them what they are. At times, the emo vibe does overwhelm, but it’s neat to see homages to R.E.M. and a few 80’s era bands a la “I Envy Your Apathy”. However, in assessing the record as a whole, it boils down to a tale of two halves with the first half of the record much stronger than the second. The latter feels a bit spread-too-thin and somewhat anticlimactic. It doesn’t have the non-linear energy of the earlier portions and loses steam a bit, but not enough to detract that much. Sure, it wanes but there’s still a lot of positive to take.
Overall, Charmer is a highly recommended listen because it’s a good gauge of how far they’ve come and how much they’ve matured. Tigers Jaw has evolved for the better and I think it’s down to the non-complexity of their sound which allows the canvas for this growth – lyrically and musically.
4 / 5 Stars
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