Back in 2018 the Brighton-based three piece were on the crest of a wave. As well as regular plays on daytime Radio 1 and a Rockest Record from the Radio 1 Rock Show, years of near non-stop touring had seen them sell out The Scala and play a triumphant hometown show at The Concorde 2. On their last EP, Evolve Or Die, they’d pushed the live-wired sound of their 2016 debut, Abstract Figures In The Dark, massively broadening their sonic palette and delivering Tigercub’s pile-driving guitar gut-punch within an intense digital static.
It seemed like a good place to put things on pause for a bit and in the downtime the band’s lead songwriter and frontman Jamie Hall started tinkering with his own brand of gonzoid psych-pop under the name Nancy. Intended only as a DIY experiment, the project massively took off. Nancy was Hype Machine’s most blogged artist, Hall bagged two record deals and played a string of dates around the world. Not bad for something he’d done in his bedroom chiefly to keep his songwriting chops up. Enough to keep you busy you’d think, but Hall was itching to get back to the day job, determined to use all he’d learned from the solo project to further Tigercub on their return. And what a return it is.
Jamie, who stands 7 foot tall and is the band’s sole songwriter, claims the creative fire for “As Blue As Indigo” was sparked by colour theory and the notion that what each human eye sees as colour could be totally subjective. That idea led him to explore his own personal issues through a similar prism, exploring topics including anxiety, depression, toxic masculinity, the death of his grandmother and the recent suicide of a close friend; and in turn began spinning the lyrical thread that ties the entire record together.
“As Blue As Indigo” is as colourful a journey as the vivid title suggests, its ten tracks span the progressive to the immediate, the gentle to the monolithic, and most of all fulfill the significant potential the band have always promised. “As Blue As Indigo” is an album that looks set to cement their place at the top table of British rock acts in 2021.
So shall we dive into the record?
A very soft opening almost as if it was a lullaby for adults, it’s quite a underwhelming first minute or so on this title track but from there things just drop and everything turns up to the more grand spectacle the band we were hoping for from the opening.
Shifting genre in the second track, ‘Sleepwalker’, this just moves into a slow grunge approach so immediately the record feels a little structurally off but if there’s one saving grace so far, it’s how perfectly the bass moulds in with the drums to carry some emotion through the first few minutes.
Now, I’m still on the fence with with this record because there’s a bit more groove in this track which is acceptable but, there’s a larger step taken in risks where it’s hard to tell if anything is paying off but for the moment I do want to say yes, possibly?
Shifting more further into the record and getting back into the groove and it being coherent with it’s strucutre, ‘Built To Fall’ just instantly feels very out place by the time it’s at the tracks final third as it starts to move back to the heavier grunge aspect which made the record appealing in the first place. This continues to be a trend for most of the record in ‘Shame’ which right at the very end in what I’m assuming is some feedback occurs, it makes it a little less professional.
‘As Long As You’re Next To Me’ is probably the best since the second or third track but still feels out of touch when talking about the record as a whole. I’m just unsure of what to make of because it’s in a. perpetual state of changing rhythm and genre. Closing with ‘In The Autumn Of My Years’, this is the record’s saving grace because it ends on a somewhat decent effort by the band but is lost in the sea of identity.
In conclusion, ‘As Blue As Indigo’ feels as if it was two records being produced and recorded at the same time where there’s a some merit to the heavier aspects of the release but there’s no real identity to what’s been made.
Check out the full record below.