Since 2005 Tiger! Tiger! has become an important figure in Atlanta's underground music scene, working at the cross roads of garage rock, punk and R&B. The group's second full-length, The Kind of Goodnight is a catty and cool collection of retro rock and roll rhythms that dive headlong into the dark side of the tensions that bind and repel the sexes. The album is by turns sultry and frenetic, obsessive and triumphant as vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Buffi Aguero cruelly croons away, kicking at the rubble of love in the ruins. Sam Leyja (organ), Susanne Gibboney (bass, vocals), Mario Colangelo (drums) and Shane Pringle (guitar, saxophone, vocals) craft a gritty and careening big beat that wanders into the most menacing parts of the ego and the soul. This is the battle cry of strength, reckoning and psychological vengeance that kicks like a Stiletto to the guts. Each song tells a tale of hurt feelings, deceit and rising above with extreme prejudice.
Opening number, "Stand In" is a Velvet Underground inspired ditty that serves as a primer into the simple, powerful plod of the group's pace. And yes, "Garage rock" is the inexorable catch phrase of Tiger! Tiger!'s approach. It is a dominate strain in the group's genetic make-up, which makes sense. Aguero also plays drums for Atlanta's long-standing garage rock legends the Subsonics (who will be featured on a split 7-inch with the Black Lips later this year on Rob's House Records). Songs like "Black Daggers" and "Cheap Imitation" are not only cut from the same cloth as younger ATL siblings the Black Lips, the Carbonas and the Coathangers, the group contains fragments of the same cornerstones upon which new Atlanta is built.
Tiger! Tiger! draws power from real life experience, and even though there are more than three chords bounding throughout each song, the impact of it all remains in a direct and uncomplicated channeling of very complicated emotions. Dueling frontwomen Gibboney and Aguero bring the pressure to a fine point - the wrath of not one, but two women scorned has never been so enticing.
Goodnight is an exercise in catharsis and sheer triumph of will, but it is so sculpted from so much more than spun-out punk aggression. Pringle's restrained saxophone blasts in "Cheap Imitation" reveal hidden layers in the music that summon an affinity for the artful bend of '70 post-punk and '80s new wave, but it all comes back together in Leyja's long, sustained organ drones and staccato rhythms. "How Much Can You Take" and "Seaside Romance" sidestep the explosive connotations of such punchy and ragged descriptors to follow the course of a slow burn that is no less volatile, and The Kind of Goodnight is white hot.