Elevate Difference

Western Theater

Mighty Tiger are the sort of band to open for Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear on tour—and not just because of their similar four-legged names. It’s easy to compare bands in folksy sub-genres, but the truth is, Mighty Tiger are a solid pop-driven fit among more established bands of similar persuasion.

On Western Theater, Mighty Tiger do what other comparable bands do not. They lean on alt-country traditions and add a layer of pop jubilance that makes their folk-country rock a pleasantly danceable treat. This Seattle-based quintet also creates soothing harmonies a la Sufjan Stevens, whereas their freak folk counterparts often make discordant, if enjoyable, sounds.

Maybe because I recently started trying my hand at chess again, board tucked away since childhood battles against my father, the song “Rook and King” drew me in almost immediately. The song also rhymes “Alsatian” and “fornication,” which is somehow incredibly endearing. I should dust off my rhyming dictionary along with my pawns.

Another favorite, the seven-minute “The Most American Thing in America,” would be a perfect addition to a moody, road-trip-ready mix-tape. Admittedly, I haven’t had a tape player in my car since 2000, and even then, I was pretty old school for carting around cassettes of indie hits compiled by friends with far superior tastes. Nevertheless, epic songs make me smile, and this one is no exception. Over and over, the guys repeat, “And we won’t hold on for too long.” I’m all for closure.

On tour this spring in southern and western regions, you can catch Mighty Tiger at South By Southwest and elsewhere, with support from Grand Hallway.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, April 1st 2010