Tigers Jaw/Tiny Empires

Split EP

There are a handful of special tidbits concerning Tigers Jaw's latest split EP. For one, it showcases the recorded debut of Tiny Empires (formerly Black Clouds), the newest project from ex-O Pioneers!!! mastermind Eric Solomon. For another, despite the tracklisting only listing three actual tracks, there are technically six individual songs on the split. (Tiny Empires’ contribution is an eight-minute, three-part suite.)

Tigers Jaw remain fuzzy, playful and heartbroken (and still a little off-key) on their two contributions. But these songs feel like a minor evolution: With "My Friend Morrissey" and the half-acoustic "No Mask/Haze Coffin," they channel the decade-old era of coed emo, when bands such as Rainer Maria and the Anniversary owned the club circuit with a creative, earnest fire. (To deviate ever so slightly from that scene, the tense second half of “No Mask/Haze Coffin” actually resembles a far more spare answer to Dntel's "Last Songs.")

Solomon's prior band, O Pioneers!!!, specialized in relatively straightforward, folk-tinged punk executed with fiery joy and passion. That's why it might be somewhat of a surprise to hear his new act conduct a sweeping, eight-minute-long, three-part composition. Sure, "Check Out My Boneyard/Interview With A Jampire/The Dream Is Still Dead" is a punk-rock song, but it's also brash, dynamic and cathartic. Solomon sounds more vulnerable than he has in the past, and that fits the track’s shifts from melodic, hopeful strumming to a sadder, mid-tempo beat. It‘s definitely an ambitious and promising debut for Tiny Empires.

Run For Cover http://www.runforcoverrecords.com

Tigers Jaw's "My Friend Morrissey"