Fond of Tigers A Thing to Live With

Energetic, eclectic and fun! Fond of Tigers’ eponymous CD brings together some of the strongest voices on Vancouver’s thriving improv scene. Combining the precision odd-metre power tactics of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the chaotic thrash of no wave and a punk-ish predilection for good-natured noisemaking, FOT’s collective chops deliver a compelling collective punch on leader Stephen Lyons’s compositions. The brief atmospheric opening of "The Suburbs are for Lovebirds” quickly gives way to the intrepid 5/4 forward motion of "North” that features some squalling skronk by violinist Jesse Zubot. "Elkore” is pure powerhouse, with dual drummers Skye Brooks and Dan Gaucher pummelling a 7-8-7-4 motif into dust before guitarist Lyons takes the mayhem to a new level of string scraping intensity. "Here, You are Hated” has a serene Chinese folk song feel, and the theme is immediately reprised in "Here You Are, Hated” in a long march that gradually crescendos, led by trumpet and flailing drums. Only the final tune, "Parade Rehearsal,” suffering from excessive length and lack of clear direction and development brings this exuberant recording to an anticlimactic close. Even then, the tune would probably sound pretty cool if heard live. Otherwise, Fond of Tigers is an impressive debut. This group are definitely worth checking out. (Drip Audio)