Tiger Fernandez – The Final EP

Tiger Fernandez
The Final EP

In The Final EP we find an interesting situation: the title is quite literal, as this is Tiger Fernandez’ last release. As a result there is a certain reckless abandon inherent in the EP’s four tracks, an almost schizophrenic adrenaline rush that I quite like. The music is a little more emo than screamo, but the band finds a nice balance between the two and is certainly capable of opening it up when necessary.

The action kicks off with “Bla Bla Weapon,” featuring stuttering, sparking guitars and churning rhythmic shifts peppered over by strangely catchy vocals. There is something particularly alluring about Pi and Sim’s (band members’ names) unique European phrasing of English words. And I can’t overemphasize their intelligent use of vocal dynamics – they are very careful about finding the right placement for their screams.

“Kids and Their Rage” is a full-bore rager complete with dischordant guitars blasting away on fast forward. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it’s a nice setup for the standout track, “Scenic Pastures.” A lot of thought and effort was clearly put into bringing out all the dynamic and melodic peaks and valleys in this song, and it is absolutely beautiful. The clever opening strains begin with a guitar line that then melds seamlessly into a bass line, which is a continuation of the same line. Impressive. And once again the unique vocals carry the hook, singing the words “scenic pastures” in a very choral, almost chanting kind of way that is difficult to describe but incredibly easy to sing along with. Well-positioned guitars bounce off the drums in the breakdown before into another “scenic pastures” refrain, followed by more instrumentals before a gorgeous guitar-led fadeout of beautiful chords and pensive moods. It’s a track you will listen to over and over.

The fragile atmosphere is shattered by “Running Naked,” twice as intense and dischordant as “Kids and Their Rage.” But there is a pleasant dichotomy to this track as the storm retreats into a pleasing calm of melodic guitars intertwining and building as vocal float above. It’s clear from the beginning that the sweetness can’t last, and true to form the track is bookended, blasting back into a paranoid rage that befits the ending of a band.

Volumes of creativity abound in these four tracks, and they portend many promising future projects for the band’s members. In its three years of existence, Tiger Fernandez has carved out a nice niche in the crowded emo category, and that feat alone piques my interest in the evolution taking place across the pond.