Album review: Tigers Jaw departs from pop-punk, emo roots to create ‘Spin’

Posted on Jun 20 2017 - 2:58pm by Sam Cox

It would be no surprise if  Tigers Jaw ended up on the charts and on everybody’s playlists with their latest album.

On May 19, 2017, Tigers Jaw subtly dropped “Spin” onto the Internet for the whole world to hear.

“Spin” is the first release from Tigers Jaw on a major record label debut, an Atlantic Records imprint known as Black Cement led by popular producer Will Yip. From the release of the first single “Guardian” to the breathtaking second single “June,” it is apparent that Tigers Jaw’s sound is at its most mature level to date. “Spin” is Tigers Jaw’s fifth studio album, however it is the first album completely done without original members Adam McIlwee, Dennis Mishko and Pat Brier. This did not stop frontmen Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins from departing their pop-punk/emo roots and crafting the excellent indie pop album that is “Spin.”

“Spin” picks up from the start with fast paced energy-filled opener “Follows” that shows Ben Walsh struggling to escape from the past and accepting that we can’t always run away from our problems. The song fades out with Walsh energetically repeating “Breathing in slow/Breathing out and letting go” until the song comes to a static halt. Two tracks later we find “June,” which was released back in April as the second single off the album, and from the first note listeners can tell that it’s going to be a song jam packed with energy and power.

tigers jaw

Photo courtesy: Brooklyn Vegan

Collins takes over on vocals for the entirety of “June,” which is the first time she’s done so since the bands “Jimmy Piersall” single in 2011. Lyrically “June” is about a close friend of Collins and how present that friend is in her life, and how she will always be there for them. The heartwarming lyrics are belted out through summery pop verse and a boisterous chorus, which is the catchiest chorus Tigers Jaw has released yet. With each repetition of the chorus the song gets stuck in your head immediately, and you’ll find yourself wanting to go back time and time again.

Following “June” is track four “Escape Plan” which opens up with panning guitar chords as a nod to one of the bands biggest influences “The Microphones.” “Escape Plan” is a beautiful song that builds up with each verse until the song crescendos and it feels as though the entire band is singing “I put it all on the line, would you be my escape plan?” right at you.

Following that is “Blurry Vision” which is a song split right down the middle with Walsh and Collins taking their fair share of solo time on the verses, a pleasant feat to have when you’ve been going back and forth between songs led by both vocalists. The outro to “Blurry Vision” leads trailing guitars right into lead single “Guardian” which picks up all the energy of the album and keeps it moving throughout the rest of the 12 track album.

“Spin” is Tigers Jaw’s biggest album so far and follows perfectly along the line of indie pop that it makes itself possible to be appreciated by old and new fans.