1. Derode 2. Pulse Check 3. Uspridge 4. One on the Zero 5. Twelve-Sided Lie 6. Fortress2006 self-released
by Drew Ailes
More and more seldom do I find myself bored on an average evening after work, browsing the Internet for new and interesting music. Once and a while I'll still impulsively Paypal a few dollars to get a hold of a random demo that I know otherwise I would have never had the chance to hear. Often times I'm disappointed with what comes in the mail, but on occasion I'll end up with something that I feel deserves a wider audience; even for just a purely educational experience. Such is the case with the band in review, Tigershark. Straddling the line of balance between angular, dissonant, noise-metal and more groovy and traditional passages, Tigershark show a great deal of promise on their 2006 demo. With a hand drawn cover and a DIY-style inlet, I was initially taken by surprise by the competency that the three members of the band display both in terms of songwriting and skill behind their instruments. After doing a bit of background research, it became clear that the band's tight sound more than likely stems from the fact that ex-members of The SetUp and The Assistant inhabit the ranks of this Virginia act. While not an easy comparison to make, the complex guitarwork and shouting vocals of Tigershark at times resemble the early and more dense songs by the often-overlooked but influencial band, The Dazzling Killmen. At other points on the demo, such as on "Pulse Check," the song drifts from sinister feedback into head-bobbing verses before eventually moving into a reverberating and doomy section. Most of the third track, "Uspridge," is shaped around a quickly-picked southern rock backbone, but there's an impressive and almost-melodic bridge that intelligently builds and swells back to the song's primary riff. I feel out of line saying this, but it's as if there's a distinct Led Zeppelin influence in the guitar playing. Earlier Isis is actually cited by the band and nothing proves this influence more than the track entitled "Twelve-Sided Lie." The first minute of the song is undeniably similar to a few of the Hydrahead mainstays' songs before Tigershark begins elbowing in with their own relatively unpredictable style. The song gradually returns to form and drones into a haze of slower, thick, and expansive metal. Bottom Line: It may be a rough fit, but if you organized your CDs categorically, Tigershark's 2006 demo might find its way near a Lords or Akimbo album. You probably won't find yourself glued to the 28-minutes of material the Richmond band has to offer, but there's still a good chance that five minutes later, you'll find yourself stroking your chin and squinting your eyes in an attempt to completely process what you just heard. Expect good things to come.