When Tigers & Monkeys stick to their strengths, the album seems to breeze by rapidly.
Tigers & Monkeys are a well-oiled, tightly knit band that craft quirky yet catchy rock songs that are littered with hand claps and inaudible head bobs, including the short and terribly sweet “Pinata” and the winding “Loose Mouth”, which is a distant cousin of PJ Harvey circa Dance Hall at Louse Point. The band can also do an old-school strolling rock song, as is the case with the swaying “You Know” that has the lead singer channeling Neko Case or the New Pornographers or both. This is followed up with the punchy, gritty, and shimmering “Rave On”. When Tigers & Monkeys stick to their strengths, the album seems to breeze by rapidly. Fans of Spoon would also lap up some of these numbers, especially the lean, pop-by-numbers approach to “Fire Escape”, but things hit a pot hole by the time “Kissing the Boys Goodbye” runs out of gas two-thirds of the way in. Overall, Tigers & Monkeys aren’t too wild except for the garage rock rave up “The Ballad of the Smoking Gun”