By Colleen Cunha
You aren’t going to hear Miniature Tigers on the radio or see them on a new release rack, and you probably missed the tiny blurbs about them in Rolling Stone, AP magazine, and Spin. But once you discover Miniature Tigers you’ll never stop listening to them. Their indie music style, which could be called care-free and whimsical, is reminiscent of bands like Portugal, The Man, Steel Train, and Oh No! Oh My!
Tell It To The Volcano was written by front man Charlie Brand, whose lyrics touch on the cliché subjects of girls and relationships, but also talk about having a pet dinosaur and the desire to throw an ex-love into a volcano. The lyrics are so natural that songs like “Cannibal Queen” and “Tell It To The Volcano” (the title track on the album) play through your head for days.
Brand says the album was named after the title track because he felt “the lyrical content of that song kind of tied all the other songs together and represented how the album felt to [him].”
The lyrics (“Tell it to the volcano/ From what I know, you’re goin’ down the hole/ Down you’re goin’, down the hole/ Tell it to the volcano/ Save your “sorrys”) are simple but the image is strong and almost comical to the listener. The chant of “Oom, I’d like to chuck ya” in the middle of the song is very sacrifice-the-virgin-to-the-gods-esque, but relates to the rest of the album in that the listener gets a meaningful image from each song.
One thing that stands out is their songs are very busy. “Cannibal Queen,” involves a tambourine, clapping, and studio banter. Although the song is repetitive, the random feeling of the music and the choice to keep the mysterious studio noises give the album almost a life of its own.
The founders of the band, Brand and Rick Schaier, were pen pals for two years before they began meeting in person to make music. They eventually recruited the rest of the group and released the White Magic & Black Magic EPs in March 2008.
Brand lists The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Kinks as some of the group’s obvious influences, but their tastes in music are always evolving. “I’d say lately, the big influences have been Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Beach House [and] of Montreal,” Brand told the Daily Nebraskan in October.
It’s one of those albums that’ll make you sway and smile and feel good all around while you listen to it, guaranteed. Overall the album is diverse, with quick paced, quirky songs balanced out with slower songs about girls and magic. It’s completely addicting, but it’s a healthy addiction. You can get your fix on their Myspace or on iTunes.