Forbidden Tigers CD reviewed by Howard Wuelfing

Music Reviews
Forbidden Tigers CD reviewed by Howard Wuelfing
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Sep 10, 2009, 05:34

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FORBIDDEN TIGERS Magnetic Problems CD

Garage rock has had a strange and oh-so-productive history. Initially it was the response from white American rockers to the British Invasion of the 60s, spiked with the Yanks' pre-existing love affair with the same indigenous R&B that had inspired the Limeys; some Americans also had the benefit of stints in raw, instrumental “surf” rock bands as well.  The first wave of garage rock produced a huge corpus great music, most of which never got heard nationally but became a primary influence on early hard rock (MC5), then 70s punk (Ramones, Sex Pistols), garage revival (Fleshtones, Vipers), and neo-garage movements to boot (i.e. White Stripes, Black Keys). Hopefully this oeuvre will continue to brood and breed as long as there's current to plug into and strings to strum.

Forbidden Tigers are typical of garage-rockers that cleave faithfully to basic compositional protocols of the genre and put their own stamp on it by zealously overemphasizing one aspect of the style. Here, it's spontaneity, raw energy and enthusiasm. These performances are raucous, high-spirited and, at times, a mite sloppy and played throughout with a thick fuzz of distortion that occasionally renders certain instruments—occasionally whole passages—into sonic mush. You might think, “Oh that's bad; no that's good!” (as Sam the Sham might say). This slight edge of dishabille and the heroic sacrifice of clarity hi-lights the emotional urgency at work. It elevates the music from mere reverence to ecstatic celebration. And if that ain't rock 'n' roll, I don't know what is. [Dead Beat]

-Howard W.

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