"Dead Hymns"


01. Batesian Mimicry
02. Century Blues
03. Suicide Giants
04. Tectonics of Teeth
05. Cruisin' 'til the Wheels Fall Off
06. The Road
07. Patient Patient
08. MidnightMares
09. Riders

RATING: 8/10

New York hardcore blasters TIGER FLOWERS have endeared themselves to their hometown heavies with a reputation for maniacal and deafening performances. Following their 2011 EP, the band releases their strategically messy and noisome debut full-length, "Dead Hymns".

Apparently it's not enough for vocalist Sir Jesse James Madre, Esq. to reportedly wave his junk and nub-tuck (think of Jame Gumb in "Silence of the Lambs") himself onstage at TIGER FLOWERS gigs. He not only invites you to survey his nuts on "Dead Hymns", he demands you kiss them. Gives new, yucky meaning to the phrase, "balls-out", but that summarizes TIGER FLOWERS as a band, albeit G.G. Allin's nefarious shit eating antics far outdoes them on the transgression meter.

Still, the point is made with TIGER FLOWERS' shock art tactics; they're trying to bring back the danger element to punk without committing coprophagia or tearing their craniums apart as self-inflicted bloodsport for their audiences. The chaotic opening songs "Batesian Mimicry", "Century Blues" and "Suicide Giants" tell all of the band's implied danger elements without resorting to outright nihilism.

Broiling static and ear-killing distortion rails from Dean "Cooch" Landry all over the end of "Tectonics of Teeth" will do a number on you if you're not already decked by the first three songs. Aptly titled, because if you have a few fillings, they'll amplify and razz your nerve endings once Landry peels off his squelching feedback. Just in time for the band to pick up the pace on the minute-plus bangfest of "Cruisin' 'til the Wheels Fall Off", where Sir Jesse James Madre, Esq. mocks the American dream with rushing and skidding beat tears from Dan Miccio.

Before you assume TIGER FLOWERS are playing strictly in chop 'n slop modes, the slow measures opening "The Road" erases all of those assumptions. Dean Landry tweaks his winding guitar lines through the prolonged instrumental intro to create a sense of aural inebriation behind the more punctuated melody. There's a smart methodology to the whole thing once the guitars are layered overtop Will "The Mexican Cowboy" Gomez's near-lackadaisical bass lines. By the time Sir Madre joins in with disarming clean croons, the song changes hand and the agitation by all four members swell with Madre picking up with outraged bellows and Landry and Gomez delivering peppered riffs, all leading to a monster finish. Gomez has the last say on "The Road", which ends up being one of "Dead Hymns"' finest songs.

Back to the mayhem on "Patient Patient" and TIGER FLOWERS rattles their listeners a bit longer before giving them respite with the calming modes of "Riders". It's quite gentlemanly of these guys to give their audience a slight break at the end of the album since a break is well-needed. Nevertheless, this band is not for wussies. As loud and abrasive and "Dead Hymns" is, you're advised to either get on board or get the hell outta Dodge (or Brooklyn, in this case) if you can't handle them.


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