& Western--simultaneously more experimental and more accessible
than previous Fond of Tigers releases--shows the band honing its unique
blend of avant-garde textures and post-rock structures while expanding
its range to include vocals and additional members. Torontos Sandro
Perri (Constellation Records) lends vocals and lyrics to Vitamin
Meathawk, while Swedish experimenter Mats Gustafsson
brings his intense saxophone and electronics push to Grandad.
Bandleader Stephen Lyons also takes the microphone for the lush, unhurried
closing track, Upheaval.
While the textures and tonalities of experimental improv are still present,
Continent & Western emphasizes song structure and melodic detail over
some of the more esoteric directions taken on 2007s Release the
From the unfolding layers of variation in the title track, to hard edge
rockers like Sept 16th, 2005, to the intricate (relative) pop of Vitamin
Meathawk, the third album from Fond of Tigers is a simultaneously more
focused and more expansive take on the groups unique brand of ordered
Called post-everything, Fond of Tigers have
been developing their hypnotic and intense music since 2003. Since its
origins as a solo project of guitarist Stephen Lyons,
the group has expanded to include its signature double-drumkit attack
and processed violin and trumpet textures along with the artfully layered
Featuring seven of Vancouvers leading
creative musicians, Fond of Tigers play a layered, nuanced music that
explores musical possibilities ranging from the smallest gesture of extended
technique, to the full avant-rock bombast possible with a wild, double-drum-kit-led
septet. The group has shared stages with Tortoise, Deerhoof, the Grande
Mothers, Shad, Mats Gustafsson, Sandro Perri, Chad vanGaalen, and others.
Notoriously hard to categorize, Fond of Tigers continue to evolve and
explore a musical territory in the outlands of avant-rock.
"...there is something in Continent
& Western that immediately grabs you and refuses to let go,
something both instantly accessible and completely out of this world."
- Vancouver Sun
"And then I listened to Continent
& Western. And then I was happy and had hope for the future
and for my son." - Forest Gospel
"...this avant-pop combo is as much
pop as it is avant, and theres always enough structure to these
songs to keep the playing, even at its edgiest, from careering into cacophony."
- The Globe and Mail
"Vancouvers Fond of Tigers keep
ideas flowing at a good clip on their masterful third full-length album."
- NOW Magazine
"Without question, five years of music
from Vancouvers Fond of Tigers has proven that descriptions of their
sound are next to impossible and essentially pointless... When it comes
to Continent & Western however, the reward is in the total
experience. The moments of serenity and tradition spliced into collages
of chaos and urgency are as captivating as they are conflicting and certainly
better heard than read. " - Herohill
"Continent & Western
fuses rock, no wave and, well, fusion, into a wild, improvisational, hot
groove that almost never stops." - Foxy Digitalis
"That Continent & Western
manages to fit song structures and experimental improv into its forty-six
minutes and still sound like the work of one band says something about
its range." - Textura
"It will keep you very interested."
- See Magazine
"The band has never had a better sounding
recording, with each player's contribution clear in the mix and this means
you can really appreciate the complexity of what the musicians achieve
in this constantly amazing project." - The Province
"...a beautifully sprawling disc."
- The Georgia Straight
"FOND OF TIGERS almost possesses the
power to make jazz/rock not such a heinous and unsavory genre..."
- Montreal Mirror
"Fond Of Tigers vacillate between
minimal washes of sound and gales of loudness that incorporate jazz, rock,
European classical and electronic accents in grand, sweeping ways."
Review: The Province
Review: Forest Gospel