Tigers Jaw

I Won't Care How You Remember Me

Written by: PP on 27/03/2021 02:55:40

It's a couple of albums ago now where Tigers Jaw lost what made them Tigers Jaw, although "Charmer" was excellent on its own despite the lack of McIlwee / Mishko / Brier trio. The darlings of emo/indie rock never quite recovered on subsequent album "Spin", which felt like it was the difficult second album since that's what it practically was given the member shake-up. So how about the sixth album "I Won't Care How You Remember Me"? What's the state of Tigers Jaw now that they're three albums separated from their past?

To be honest, it's both familiar and it isn't. It's familiar in the sense that Ben Walsh's lead vocals are perhaps at their most emotionally charged and engaging since their early albums, audible particularly on album highlight "Can't Wait Forever". Similarly, the quiet, somber opener "I Won't Care How You Remember Me" is signature style emo in Tigers Jaw flavor as we love it, while "Hesitation" is a more upbeat, yet still catchy piece that feels like the band isn't straying that far away from their roots. However, there's a lingering thought at the back of my mind that feels brutal to write down: when did Tigers Jaw become this boring?

What always captured my imagination with this band was their naked emotion on raw display. The unpredictable lyrical hooks reeled you into a soundscape the felt simplistic on the surface, yet had incredible depth just underneath. Here, the expression feels like emo-flavored indie rock by the books. Few risks are taken, it's all soothing and easygoing with a few catchy choruses here and there. Brianna's songs aren't as strong as Ben's, arguably because it still feels like she's trying to be a similar counterweight to Ben as Adam used to be, and the dynamic just doesn't work quite as well. Perhaps she can expose her own raw style in a different manner? Either way, the glimmering nostalgia and the quiet/loud explosions of emotional charge are missing from the record, leaving behind a record of good songs that never quite compare to the absolute highlights of Tigers Jaw's past. Yes, "Cat's Cradle" is good, but as I mentioned in my previous review, it's still no "I Saw Water". And at some point, that's okay. Perhaps we're good to have Tigers Jaw deliver these enjoyable indie rock tunes every couple of years. Yet the oldest fans of us still yearn for that feeling of passion and raw emotion that's been shoved aside.

Download: Can't Wait Forever, I Won't Care You How You Remember Me, Hesitation
For the fans of: Braid, Dowsing, The Get Up Kids, Say Anything
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Release date 05.03.2021
Hopeless Records

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