Sunday, 8 July 2012

Tigon - 'Infinite Teeth' (Album Review)

By: Aaron Pickford

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released:  11/08/2012
Label: The Ghost Is Clear Records



‘Descender’ brings this disorderly commotion to a close and having been subjected to feelings of violent agitation for the best part of 40 minutes, I am left feeling gobsmacked and amazed by the furious disturbance Tigon have caused.  Despite this great noise of confusion, I can’t help break into tumultuous applause and congratulate Tigon for this truly tyrannous and awe-inspiring album.  I too am left beaming with an Infinite Grin!


Infinite Teeth CD//DD//LP track listing

1) The Archivist (3:48)
2) The Great Machine (4:05)
3) Whale Maker (2:34)
4) Infinite Grin (1:44)
5) Tortoise Goes To Burning Man (5:52)
6) Infinite Grin (4:44)
7) Plague Apparatus (2:09)
8) Prophetess (7:53)
9) Descender (5:29)

Tigon is:

Brian | Guitar
Jon | Guitar
Joe | Drums
Doc | Bass
Clint | Vocals

The Review:

It has been said that Noise rock is an outgrowth or offshoot of punk, as Thurston Moore of legendary band, Sonic Youth said ‘Noise has taken the place of punk rock. People who play noise have no real aspirations to being part of the mainstream culture’. http://www.spin.com/#articles/art-noise This is the vibe that I get from Tigon, a band who seem to abandon all the clichés and unanimity of the stereotypical iconography of rock, instead playing a unique blend of malevolent dissonant music which I take a huge amount of pleasure in presenting  to you, here at The Sludgelord. 

Tigon opens things up with ‘The Archivist’, a song with a loop of 4 notes repeated by guitar, the feedback kicks in and we're met with a huge bass sound.   This is wonderfully abrasive noise rock, discordant and angry, with duelling guitars and fantastic drumming holding it all together.  Think Part Chimp, with it’s off kilter time changes, however the song has so much variety packed into one song and vocally it’s amazing too.  Tigon slow things down with arpeggiated guitar notes and a trade mark killer noise rock bass line, a la Shellac.  Then we’re hit with a thunderous sludgy riff, sounding like the best Post Metal band you never heard, ‘The Archivist’ is certainly a song that has enduring value and is the perfect way to kick off the album.  ‘The Great Machine’ is all about a driving bass, with the guitars creating a discordant noise, producing a natural harmonic tone which rings out, this is used to good effect and adds to the din they’re obviously trying to create, again in this song, there is just so much going on.  Tigon are indeed a great machine because with the live sounding vibe to the album, they sound note perfect.  Again perhaps without the intention, I’m sure? There are nods to the sound of Shellac.  Whilst this track is not as heavy at ‘The Archivist’ in terms of riffs, the shouted backing vocals add weight to the track and there are moments when the band crank it up and this is towards the end of the track.  Vocally, Clint is a monster and he has one of those voices who sounds familiar and yet, you can’t place him.  Atonality or dissonance would be a perfect description of what we are presented with, it is unconventional music, however it still does feel hooky, absorbing and engages you as the listener.

‘Whale Maker’ incorporates distorted bass and an opening clean guitar sound which seems to deliberately add a lack of harmony or flow; however it builds tension, as the two sounds clash from the duelling disharmonious elements of bass and guitar.  Then the penny drops, whilst the vocalist isn’t a sound like, the swagger and balls of the performance feels like David Yow of The Jesus Lizard, as he asks us, “Do you feel safe? Do you fit in? Do you believe? Do you fit in? Do you believe?”   It’s like Clint is toying with us.   Guitars play with reckless abandonment, with intricate neat little flourishes of hammer on and pull offs, until the ferocious blast of sludge riffs smash you in the pit of your stomach and then we’re back to the dense cacophony or maelstrom of the opening, with the distorted bass and ponderous disharmony.  Holy crap this song is just brilliant, it’s furious and ugly and the lack of agreement or consistency within the elements of the music, gives it a jarring audible harshness which is just devastating.  ‘Infinite Grin’ with its natural harmonics in a repeated phrase with bass, feels like a brief interval or interlude, but continues with the unmelodious feel of the album.

‘Tortoise Goes to Burning Man’ is off kilter, unconventional and off beat, seemingly using demented arpeggios and riffs to invoke a left of centre feel.   The track is lacking in order and is just abhorrent to methodical arrangement, the track induces a feeling of motion sickness, and it’s like poison infecting you or a conflict between your senses that will have you reaching for the Ipecac in order to remedy the feelings of dizziness, fatigue and nausea.  There seems to be a strong influence of much underrated and oft over looked band Theory of Ruin, a band led by Alex Newport also of Fudge Tunnel, however it remain totally original, accentuated by the harmonious female vocal.  When you think of this track, you think Amphetamine Reptile and just about any artist they have released music by over the years. ‘Infinite Teeth’ I would go so far as to say that this track sounds a lot like ‘Strap It On’ era Helmet or the underappreciated New York band Barkmarket (check them out)  but remains deeply ingrained in the noise rock vain, with minimalist sound based around repetitive driving rhythms’ of the bass and guitar.  This track is probably as close to conventional as you’re going to get and yet Tigon accentuate the song with subtle nuances to give a quirky, sudden sharp turn or twist to remind you that this band are the masters of the unconventional. Nonconformist and idiosyncratic in their desire to produce fresh unusual and innovative music.  ‘Plague Apparatus’ with its fantastic burst of drums is a 2 minute din of crude loud, confused noise, continuing the tumultuous noisy clamour.  This is a fast and frenetic song which is just insanely awe inspiring

 All I can say about ‘Prophetess’ is that it is a magnificently epic, think the grandness of your favourite Post Metal Sludge band, think Old Man’s Gloom or A Storm of Light, man this is titanic!  The riffs are monstrous and this is the longest and most spine chillingly heavy song of the record.  Everything on this track sounds huge, a colossus beast, it is mouth watering, with elements of blackened screams that twists like a knife, inflicting untold pain.  It’s as if the band has thrown out the rule book of everything which encapsulated the first 2/3rds of the album, with wanton abandonment.  They slow things right down with atmospheric tones and this appears to be the band at their most reflective with the spoken vocals giving it an emotional and introspective flavour.  This for me is easily the coupe de grace of the album and exhibits that Tigon incorporate many influences to their music and this is the thing that excites me about this band, they truly are a brilliant and with this song they have written one of, if not the best song of the year.  As the title suggests, this band are sending a message of divine inspiration and if there truly is a god, this album should propel them into the big leagues.  

‘Descender’ brings this disorderly commotion to a close and having been subjected to feelings of violent agitation for the best part of 40 minutes, I am left feeling gobsmacked and amazed by the furious disturbance Tigon have caused.  Despite this great noise of confusion, I can’t help break into tumultuous applause and congratulate Tigon for this truly tyrannous and awe-inspiring album.  I too am left beaming with an Infinite Grin!

You can order the album here




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