The music for both the band and the EP titled Tomorrow’s Tigers came about when songwriter Chris Punsalan began writing music for his own independent sci-fi feature film “The Human Equivalent” using vintage synthesizers and an AI drummer. Joining with partner Autumn Proemm, their chosen band name comes from “the symbolism of the tiger, representing power, agility and untamed creativity.” Punsalan and Proemm’s previous musical project The iOs blended alternative and electronic rock, foreshadowing the Tomorrow’s Tigers sound and artistic direction.
All recording took place at home using Logic, except for the drums which were recorded at the Los Angeles-based studio Grandma’s Dojo. Mixing was by Braedon Henderson and mastering by Hans DeKline.
Though I was expecting electronica, “All the Noise” starts the set with a great, chunky rock sound featuring sharp drums and crispy guitars. Yes, there’s analog synth sounds, but the main groove is the interaction between the guitars and percussion elements. The vocals are another surprise: though certainly “electronified” here and there, the band’s voices are perfect for rock with almost wall-to-wall harmonies. The song itself reminds me of Thomas Dolby and his ilk, but without as much trickery as Dolby needed. At heart it’s a basic rock structure but the riffs are so creatively built that I’m green with envy.
“Odeon” continues the alternative rock course, with bones that resemble acts like The Strokes or Bob Mould. Again the synths are there but they’re not really in charge of the song, being used more for counterpoint melodies or to fatten the sound. The overall feel is upbeat and celebratory, which is interesting in that electronic music is often cold and computer-like. The lyrics can be read as a celebration of a creative partner or a lover.
“The Dweller” has a wind instrument opening that weirdly channels Frank Zappa in his Uncle Meat phase, but quickly moves into the song proper which is a laid-back meditation on the fate of The Dweller: “Spring is here but nothing grows / Winter’s chill is all we know.” This song sits more firmly in the prog-electronic world and is thick-to-bursting with synths and pummeled drum skins, alternating with a quiet piano motif.
“Year Zero” is a short and gentle concluding track that reminded me of those quiet moments on a Smashing Pumpkins record just before the big sonic blast. The strummed electrics share the room with a lovely tapestry of retro, mellotron-sounding synths. There’s no singing so we get to sample what the group sounds like in “pure music form,” and it’s amazing.
I love when my expectations are not only exceeded, but exceeded by eons. These four tracks not only promise great things in the future, but work perfectly all by themselves. Recommended!
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