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HomeArts & CultureTunes review: Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk

Tunes review: Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk

It’s been four years since Yukon Blonde released their first EP, Everything in Everyway, to critical attention. But in that time, Kelowna, B.C. shaggy rockers have travelled the globe, playing shows in Australia and Japan, as well as criss-crossing Canada too many times to count.

All that touring has finally paid off. This month sees the release of Tiger Talk, the band’s second LP in three years, and an album that follows their critically acclaimed self-titled debut. But a lot is different on Tiger Talk compared to their first effort.

At its essence, Yukon Blonde is still the same band. Their harmonies soar, the guitars are precise and the good vibes are aplenty. But with Tiger Talk the band shows a bit of a harder side than fans may be used to.

When I spoke with guitarist/vocalist Brandon Scott last year for The Dalhousie Gazette, he mentioned that his main problem with their self-titled debut was that it was too crisp and didn’t have the hard rocking distortion and spontaneity of their live show.

That’s the major difference with Tiger Talk: you can tell this is a band that knows their live sound and wanted that to come across in the recording. The guitars are dirtier and louder, the bass is heavier, the drums are less splashy and more exact—overall, Tiger Talk is a far better record than its predecessor.

It’s easy to see on opening cuts “My Girl” and “Stairway” that the band consciously mimicked the spontaneous chanting and sing-alongs that happen at live shows, giving the album a pub rock feel.

But sometimes the band shoots for arena rock theatrics. “Radio” has the minimalist strumming of a Cars classic with Cheap Trick guitar solo stunts, while album closers “Guns” and “Sweet Dee” have candy-coated atmospherics similar to British shoegazers The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Ride.

Tiger Talk certainly isn’t as well rounded and definitive as the band’s previous record, but this may be some of the catchiest songwriting of their career.

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