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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Miniature Tigers

Posted By on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Not at all ready to pounce
  • Not at all ready to pounce

Miniature Tigers generated some buzz in 2008 with a pair of EPs and their debut album, Tell It to the Volcano. The bright, sunny sounds were carried along by breezy melodies and a quirky, lighthearted attitude. Frontman Charlie Brand’s fey charms were expressed in jangly, whimsically lovelorn paeans to Annie Oakley and other rapacious, heart-munching women (“Cannibal Queen”). The lyrics occasionally meandered into silliness, which only added to the music’s innocence, recalling the wide-eyed swoon of pre-psych ‘60s pop. But a lot has changed for Brand and his band over the past couple of years. Miniature Tigers have expanded to a quartet (to help out onstage) and relocated from Phoenix to Brooklyn, where their oddball indie pop feels right at home. They unveil a far more layered, intricate sound on their recent follow-up album, Fortress, coming off like a junior Animal Collective. While Fortress retains Brand’s ample melodic gifts and trippy subject matter (“Japanese Woman Living in My Closet”), it leaves behind the ragtag bedroom-bred unaffectedness in favor of carnivalesque flamboyance. Keyboards swirl amid handclaps and choruses of background voices as the album revels in a Day-Glo exuberance that’s somewhat overwhelming. It’s still charismatic and colorful, but the music feels mannered and too sonically encumbered at times to support its former gay and sprightly mien. Miniature Tigers, with the Spinto Band, the Moonmen, and Travis Caudle, play Musica at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. —Chris Parker


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