Published Apr 11, 2014Tiger Flowers are from New York, which really is about as good an indication of their sound as saying they play with electric guitars. While the locale's heavy music scene might evoke a specific sound — Madball, Merauder, Crown of Thornz — vocalist Jesse James Madre tells Exclaim! that's not all there is.
"It's just a broad range," he says. "There's a lot of cool stuff going on, and I just think it's good. It's good for the scene; diversity is good."
In that sense, Tiger Flowers' full-length debut, Dead Hymns, released this week on Melotov Records, fits right in. However, that's about the only way the album does. It's is an interesting dichotomy of '90s metalcore and screamo, which is as haunting as it is hammering and as carefully constructed as it is chaotically crumbling, so much so that Madre says the band were worried about its appeal.
"As a whole, when we first put it together and arranged it while we were still in the studio, and we were giving it that final listen, we didn't know if anybody would like it, but we were proud of it," Madre says. "And we were hoping that people would like it."
That uncertainty might have also been fuelled by a pretty drastic change in the band's music, as they shortened nearly all the songs. While 2011's self-titled EP totalled just over 27 minutes in four songs, Dead Hymns barely tops half-hour over nine tracks. Madre says this was an organic change that came about as a result of a smoother writing process.
"So I think we found our groove a little bit more and hit our stride, so to speak, and realized what we wanted our songs to be. And what that is, is a little bit shorter, a little more compact, a little bit harder hitting, and [we] try to give the songs as much room to breathe and become what they're going to become…"
However, he insists the product is still definitely Tigers Flowers. "I think it's a compacting of the same kind of package. I really just think it's still completely us but squished down, which kind of makes it almost a hyper version of us because we're trying to put 10 pounds of shit in a 5-pound bag, almost. So it makes the song a little more hectic, a little more urgent."