Tiger Army

The Vanguard and Bros. Houligan Presents...

Tiger Army

Dave Hause & The Mermaid, Amigo The Devil

Tue, September 5, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages

Tiger Army
Tiger Army
“I think at this point we’re sort of beyond genre,” says Nick 13 of his band Tiger Army and its new album V •••–.

It’s an accurate statement.

While the 13 tracks comprising V •••– touch on all the exciting hallmarks of great rock ‘n’ roll, there’s a substance and detail on display here that’s distinctly out of the ordinary. And considering Tiger Army’s track record as one of the most vibrant and inspired groups to emerge from the California punk scene, a career high like this is no small thing.

“It was very important on this record for me to try to do something new to top myself,” says Nick 13. “I think a lot of people become complacent after so many years of making music. And I guess that was one reason why I was away for a little while—because that's what needed to happen to maintain that passion and, hopefully, freshness.”

The band’s first album since 2007’s Music From Regions Beyond, V •••– combines stellar production from Grammy winner Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys) with impeccable playing via singer/guitarist Nick 13, bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Ray Lamontagne, Dan Auerbach) and drummer Mitch Marine (Dwight Yoakam).

With first track “Prisoner Of The Night” already released and well received by audiences at current live shows, the freshness Nick 13 speaks of could not be more evident. Tiger Army’s music has always pushed forward creatively while nodding toward the roots of rock, but this time out, the band is drawing inspiration from the music of the early ‘60s—that pre-Beatles era when the likes of producer Joe Meek and the Shadows were in full bloom, or when a very young Del Shannon made his mark with his 1961 hit “Runaway.” It is a musical period still ripe for rediscovery, and it masterfully evoked with full affection throughout V •••–.

“That whole era gets overlooked, I think,” he says. “Because there's the narrative about the end of the ‘50s with Elvis going into the army, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens dying, Little Richard going to Gospel--that is all true, but the people who were able to carve out a niche for themselves before the British Invasion, and not just do the pure pop things, that to me was some of the most interesting music. And it was some of the most innovative as well. Because the first wave of rock 'n' roll was over, and everybody was trying to figure out what's going to happen next. And I think there was a lot more experimentation, sonically and otherwise, than that era is generally given credit for.”

To that end, aficionados of early ‘60s pop might notice a few touches here and there: A familiar sounding keyboard tone via a rare Clavioline (“Max Crook, who played on Del Shannon’s records, used it,” says Nick. “It’s also what Joe Meek used in England on ‘Telstar.’ It took some doing to track one down in the States.”), and a high-pitched, ghostly female background vocal throughout several songs, courtesy of operatically-trained vocalist Savitri Labensart (“I think she brought an incredible element to the record,” He says. “Most female background singers that you find in rock 'n' roll today are usually R&B singers. That sort of high ethereal thing you hear on Joe Meek records and Roy Orbison records are a forgotten aspect of rock 'n' roll that I specifically wanted to bring back for this record.”)

Those occasional nods to Joe Meek were greatly aided by producer Hutt, an Englishman who rose to the challenge of attempting to evoke that singular style. “Something that's interesting about Meek's studio techniques is, a lot of times you're just sort of unleashing something and you don't know what you're going to get. It's not something that necessarily produces a predictable result, it's more like you're sort of setting up the circumstance where anything can happen--it might be great, it might not, but when it works, it really works.”

Also amply in evidence is the sound and influence of the legendary Roy Orbison, notably on “Happier Times,” an album highlight. “It was probably Blue Velvet that turned me on to Roy Orbison,” notes Nick. “David Lynch picked up on something-- there's a real emotional darkness to his music, and that was something I latched onto pretty early. So I was listening to that alongside punk as a young kid.”

While V •••– is not a complete change of aesthetic direction for Tiger Army, it’s a further refinement, an evolution perhaps partly wrought from Nick 13’s other career as an alt-country/Americana artist. His self-titled solo album of 2011 won critical raves, expanded his audience via the touring that followed, and provided him some lessons for which he’s still grateful.

“I learned a lot,” he recalls. “In the solo thing, my intention was to immerse myself in country music of the ‘50s and ‘60s--but in doing so, I learned a lot more about not only how country music at that time was played, but how music of that time, not just country but rock 'n' roll, was played and recorded. And that was something that influenced this record most definitely.”

Notably having an impact here yet again was Orbison, whose early ‘60s Monument Records singles rank among his best and most pioneering.

“Before I spent time in Nashville, I never really spent time thinking about Roy Orbison as a Nashville artist,” says Nick. “I didn't realize that all of his albums were recorded there. And really, a lot of the elements that they were using on those early Monument singles--the sort of non-R&B female background vocals, things like harp or piano that help give it that sort of otherworldly sound, were pretty much the same thing they were doing on other country records of the time--just minus the pedal steel.”

And there’s more at the core of V •••– .

Among other things, says Nick 13, the influence of early New York City punk--starting with the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, The Ramones and Static Age-era Misfits—can be felt.

“I think what it is about those particular artists is that there was a real connection to rock 'n' roll and pop singles of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s beneath the surface in their work. You hear it to varying extents,” he says.

“And I wanted to almost strip away a little bit of the noise, and kind of play around with those ratios. You know, the urgency of punk at ground zero, and what influence it was taking from the original rock ‘n’ roll. And just kind of tweak those ratios a little bit. Because that was something I always heard in there.”

In all, V •••– reaffirms Tiger Army’s status as a long-lived band that continues to grow, to get better with age, yet never without forgetting their roots or what brought them to the music. There is a consistency in all their music and the creativity that drives it—and though much has changed since the band’s first recordings, much of what is most important has not. And it’s all there to be heard on V •••–.

– Dave DiMartino
Dave Hause & The Mermaid
Dave Hause & The Mermaid
Sometimes you have to move forward in order to see where you started out—and the hardscrabble wisdom that one gains from that type of journey forms the backbone of Dave Hause’s third full-length, Bury Me In Philly. “Punk rock guilt is a real thing,” the lifelong Philadelphian says from his new home in California. “I like to make rock n’ roll music because that’s what I love and I don’t care if Zeppelin or the Stones aren’t cool to the punks… it’s cool to me and that’s what matters.” In that spirit, Bury Me In Philly is a love letter both to his hometown as well as the larger-than-life rock acts he grew up worshiping as a teenager.

For the follow-up to 2013’s Devour, a newly sober Hause holed up in his new home and wrote nearly forty songs, eleven of which would end up as Bury Me In Philly. “The first song I wrote for this album was the title track and I didn’t realize it at the time but that really set the tone for the album,” he explains. “One thing I was focused on was trying to make the songs more concise and uplifting than the last record. My last album was a divorce record and during the touring of it I fell in love with my fiancé, moved to California and things got a lot better.” Hause’s newfound perspective allowed him to dig even deeper as a songwriter whether he’s getting intimately introspective on the tender ballad “Wild Love” or channeling that into shot of sonic adrenaline on monster anthems such as “Shaky Jesus.”

Although Bury Me In Philly is a Dave Hause album, it was also greatly inspired by the other people involved in the production of the album, most notably Eric Bazilian of Philadelphia rock legends The Hooters. “The Hooters were the first concert I ever saw when I was eight years old and it definitely made a huge impression on me,” Hause explains. In fact, during the pre-production process Hause was constantly sending songs to Bazilian who actually performed The Hooters classic “And We Danced” onstage with the Hause the last time he was in town. “Things weren’t working out with my original producer and Eric expressed that he would want to produce the album and suddenly he went from my hero to a causal friend to a co-collaborator.” Recorded at Bazilian’s home studio with him and Grammy Award winning producer William Wittman, the album is the ultimate homage to Hause’s past and is a timeless take on rock music’s enduring spirit.

Additionally, these songs are united by Hause’s intent dedication to his craft, which punk fans are already familiar with from his role as front man in The Loved Ones and guitarist/vocalist in The Falcon. From the fuzzed-out boogie of “Dirty Fucker” to the folksy sing-along vibe of “Helluva Home” and the classic rock-inspired groove of “The Mermaid,” Bury Me In Philly may not be an easy album to categorize but it’s a joy to get lost inside. Hause also kept things in the family this time around by co-writing the album with his 23-year-old brother Tim, who helped bring a fresh perspective to the recordings. “I’ve never had a musical soulmate but during this process I realized it’s my brother,” Hause explains. “Who I think of as this cute cuddly infant is now this grown man who is really talented and focused and he’s not drinking and partying his way through life the way that I was at that age. It’s really cool.”

While virtually every song on Bury Me In Philly could be played on the radio, the album is much more than a collection of singles. “I still write in the paradigm of albums you know?” Hause says. “I think there should be melodic through lines and each track on the album should compliment the other ones. You want to plan an album like a live set: You want a batch of songs that kick off the record, then you want some left turns. You want to take people on a journey.” The road to get to this point may have had its share of obstacles but looking back Hause wouldn’t trade his experiences for anything. “The ringing of that broken bell, it always seems to cast its spell. I was young and I flinched before, but I ain’t flinching anymore,” Hause sings over a soaring slide guitar on “The Flinch” ….and you can tell that he means it. Coming full circle rarely sounds this inspired.
Amigo The Devil
Amigo The Devil
Helping bitter people tell their love stories one song at a time.
Venue Information:
The Vanguard
222 North Main Street
Tulsa, OK, 74103
http://www.thevanguardtulsa.com