Say what you like about Timid Tiger but you can’t fault them on presentation. I’m not sure there’s ever been a concept album where the concept is a lurid orange cartoon tiger but that’s what this appears to be; drawn by Klaus Cornfield the booklet that accompanies this record sees the titular hero in a number of scrapes, all rendered in migraine inducing red and yellow.
But you don’t buy records for the packaging, right? TT deal in electro-tinged, utterly unpretentious pop; this is an album so pathologically cheerful that if it got played over the tannoy at the Download Festival you’d think you were watching the first act in Scanners. Heads would quite literally explode. _Combat Songs and Traffic Fights_ opens things with a tune reminiscent of Cool for Cats, and Squeeze may be a pretty good yardstick, along with the theme tune to _Only Fools and Horses. Still feeling down? Then wait for _Tiger is not a Bird where cartoon sound effects litter the background to such a degree that by the end it sounds as if an army of smurfs have stormed the studio, slightly undermining the coda of ‘You began to cry/As I closed my eyes.’
In fact there’s a lot here that would be well suited to the opening titles of a mainstream comedy or kids entertainment show (the piano riff to _Mississippi Dreams_ is a case in point), as almost everything included is a hook. It’s the absolute opposite of an esoteric indie album, which is not necessarily a criticism; if you’re feeling blue or need something to do your hair to this will suit you a lot better than Kid A. The lyrics may be slightly bizarre but as English is most likely not the band’s first language it seems mean to quibble. Taken as a whole, it’s like eating a box of Krispy Kreme donuts; a lot of fun to consume but so sweet you may feel a bit queasy afterwards. Especially after the bit about tigers raping dolls.
7John Winters's Score