Tiger Force have been on active service on the peripheries of the mainstream for the past 18-months or so – hiding up in the mountains that surround chart-land – carrying out the odd covert action – studiously avoiding being roped into anything vaguely resembling a scene:
Andy Force: “We are not Nu-Rave, we don’t like being labelled ‘trendy’ & don’t think we are”
A duo – consisting of Andy & Helen Force - they’ve released a handful of ltd 45s & splits – mostly for the painfully hip Marquis Cha Cha Records (Puregroove, Holloway Rd) - slowly refining their content & delivery mechanism as they go. “Wasp In A Jar” is their debit mini-LP – maxi-EP – whatever, wacker!
Taking inspiration from such diverse sources as Sonic Youth & old school hip-hop may seem a tad confused to some casual observers, but Tiger Force’s particular blend of block-rocking beats from a broken social drum machine, twin-guitar attack & feisty boy/girl/duo/shouting vocal assault is as engaging as it is improbable. Add a confessed love of the Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy & the above-mentioned hatred of Nu-Rave - & you’re just about there.
“Wasp In A Jar” has taken the best part of the last year to assemble – garnered, as it was, from various sessions at various locations across our bustling capital:
Helen Force: “It was recorded here & there in different places at different times but sounds like a whole. We are quite cut & paste & it has that feel but works as a collage, we think!”
Featuring 8-tracks & clocking in at just under 20-minutes, “Wasp In A Jar” is a succinct & effective introduction to the operations currently being undertaken by Tiger Force. Opening with the Commodore 64 inspired “Tiger Force Anthem” – T-I-G-E-R-F-O-R-C-E – a pummelling skank fuelled by hardcore beats & shards of decaying guitar, the template Tiger Force Sound is established. “Beat This” keeps the energy & the tempo high: the guitars clash, the beats box clever, leaving the opposition with a bloody nose, cowering in their corner with their nervous trainer. “Syntax Error”, you’ll know already – unless you’ve been dead for the last 6-months, that is – as the place where both sides of Tiger Force meet in the middle: hard as nails on the outside - but soft & sweet in the dusky, darkened corners. “Five Six I Got Sticks” applies further tempo pressure, opening the window for my favourite song on the LP, “Hey Yo Square Eyes” (it’s the riff: genius!). “Send In The Evolution” offers a glimpse of one possible future direction for Tiger Force - whilst “Super Lo-Fi Sutter Happy Panic Song” returns to full-on attack mode – leaving closer, “Your Music Sucks, to really put the cat amongst the pigeons (are you feeling threatened yet, Lilly?).
In many ways, “Wasp In A Jar” represents closure: the end of Phase One of Tiger Force - & the promise of new directions home to come:
Andy Force – “In future I think we’re going to make music that is less specific, more pop. We’re through being cool.”
Until then, “A Wasp In A Jar” will keep you amused & entertained in equal measure – until a truce is declared - & Tiger Force come down from the mountains to take up their rightful place in the badger parade!
Guy Debored – tMx 29 – 04/07
Why not: www.myspace.com/tigerforce