Teiger – Teiger Review

Fast forward and a press copy of their debut album has landed, again, seemingly out of thin air, on my rather overloaded desk.

Genre: Defies pigeonholing

Label: Independent

Release Date: September 8th 2023

Members:

Phillip Eldridge-Smith: Bass 
Jon Steele: Drums
Talie Rose Eigeland: – Guitar and vocals

Tracklisting:

The Crawl
Sahara
Come And Find Me
Slow Burning
Splinter
Vendetta
Hydra
The Law Of Diminishing Returns
Sunrise
The Thinnest Wall

Teiger are a mystery to me. The trio emerged, seemingly out of the void, some time mid 2022. They put out a first single ‘Hydra’ back in November, and while their unusual sound did pique my interest, it wasn’t until the eminently cinematic music video for ‘The Law Of Diminishing Returns’, released in July 2023, that the band truly had my full attention. More on that later but let’s just revisit ‘Hydra’ for a moment as it was then that, along with my MGM colleague Adrian, we saw the band perform it live in Shoreditch. Check out our review from that night below: 

Teiger Live in London – Hydra Launch Show: 

Fast forward and a press copy of their debut album has landed, again, seemingly out of thin air, on my rather overloaded desk. The artwork in itself is something to behold – a colourful yet foreboding sun-like painting that I have no doubt would look impeccable on wax.

The album opens with a mysterious fingerpicked masterpiece ‘The Crawl’, which leads straight into the furious ‘Sahara’. If you listen carefully with care, you can hear birds singing just as the crashing ending drowns out – perhaps a hangover from their remote recording studio “Foel” in Wales (incidentally, this is where Porcupine Tree famously completed ‘Recordings’). Enter ‘Come And Find Me’, at first glance a more approachable track, but upon closer examination, surprisingly off kilter (is that the Bond theme you can hear under the chorus?). Special mention to the hypnotic, almost tribal rhythm section. ‘Slow Burning’ takes me by surprise, being again more commercially viable yet deeply emotional. The track ends with Talie Rose Eigeland repeating the lyrics “It makes me want to die, It makes me so tired” – perhaps not as upbeat a track as the groove leads us to believe. ‘Splinter’ arrives next, in sharp contrast with what has come so far. As a musician (/nerd), this might be my personal favourite – a 7/8 groove alternates with 4/4, hinting that the band might have some other tricks up their sleeve. Something to do with the sun – I’d love to know what the song is about. [We’ll have a word with the band at the launch show!]

Passing the halfway mark, ’Vendetta’ shows no shortage of ideas either; the sound of the rare Kramer guitar carries the track, and we’re treated to a surprise ending – a chaotic grind down into a cynically purposeful production highlight. The complex drums are isolated, with a bass pan effect that acts like a lawnmower to the left brain. ‘Hydra’ is perhaps their most “rock radio” moment, but it stills comes with originality. The swirling, dark atmosphere is underpinned by simple yet unusual chord choices. ‘The Law Of Diminishing Returns’, a crowd favourite, is nothing short of anthemic.

What strikes me here is how well the band works as a three-piece: each choice of note or beat is crucial to the overall result, and there’s both space and a necessity for each instrument to be used creatively. ‘Sunrise’ is perhaps the most unexpected track in terms of atmosphere, a Teiger “feel good hit of the summer”, if you will, but with an extended piano intro and, again, a morse code type ending that gives me cause for concern for the singer’s overall wellbeing. Finally, ‘The Thinnest Wall’ is nothing short of monastic. The lyrics are devastatingly beautiful: “Was your dying wish a slow one?”, “I hear you fall to the floor”. Put me out of my misery, kids.

Where do Teiger fit into today’s landscape? While it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is going on here, it’s clear that this is a band swimming against the current in more ways than one. There’s something homegrown about their record; it claims to be self-produced, which explains the slightly artisanal aspect, yet compromises neither on quality nor on intricacy. The result is a gently progressive, 70s-esque live feel (reminiscent of the more cult live bands on the prog rock circuit that precursors the 80s) which I have to say that I dig.

With all that out of the way, the album does give me pause. I consider the wider state of the music industry – while bands used to be forced into constant innovation in order to retain their listenership’s curiosity, these days, they’re more likely to be lauded for easy pigeonholeability – slotted into a genre as “the next X, Y or Z”. While I could rattle off a list of influences I suspect may have had subtle bearings on different moments of ‘Teiger’ – although the net would have to be cast wide – the band might be best experienced without attempts at comparison. My suspicion is that it may take Teiger a little longer to break, but once they do (and I believe they will) their career will be a long and prolific one.

Pre-order link: https://kycker.ffm.to/teiger

Score: 9/10 – overall

Score: 10/10 for uniqueness and originality – there truly is nothing else like this out there. 

Reviewed by: Jordan Bevan

If that’s convinced to to investigate a little more, then the band are on tour right now: 

 

The last date of the tour is also the album launch show at The Underworld in London with support from Anolah An Zee Bonez, Fractal Blow and Rival Karma

To get tickets click below: 

The Underworld – Album Launch Show – Teiger 

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