EP Review: TIGERCUB - Evolve or Die

Written by Maddy Howell

After polishing off UK tours with the likes of Royal Blood and Pulled Apart By Horses, along with an extensive run of the UK festival circuit, 2017 has been a hectic year for Brighton trio TIGERCUB. With debut album, 'Abstract Figures In The Dark', setting them on the path to success, the experimental indie outfit seem set to take things to the next level on follow-up EP, 'Evolve or Die'.

Taking inspiration from a short story written by Argentinian author George Louis Borge in the 60s, the plot is set in a universe formed of an expansive library. Although the order and content of the books in the library is entirely random, the inhabitants believe that they hold every possible ordering of 25 basic characters in their pages. Born from a drive to create something unique in a scene that “already contains all the possible combinations”, 'Evolve or Die' is a 4-track long study on human autonomy, focused on somehow finding a combination that has not yet been explored.

Opening on a harsh, discordant, Klaxons-style electronic note, The Divided States of Us instantly proves TIGERCUB are capable of crafting something unique. Offering out a mix of live/looped guitars, live/layered drums and samples, the textures woven on the opener are instantly something entirely stylistically out of touch with the band's previous works.

Into The Ashes drops the pace slightly, with a fuzzy, guitar-driven ode to the discovery of life’s purpose. It’s in the grungier, darker aspects of their sound that TIGERCUB really begin to show their true potential, allowing the importance of their captivating lyrics to bleed through.

'Evolve or Die' is TIGERCUB throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks, exploring all territories that have been left abandoned in its 15-minute duration. It’s Only Love presents a more downbeat side to the band’s sound, with frontman Jamie Hall’s vocals taking the front seat in a haunting commentary on the deeper meaning of existence.

The EP is a complete pack of wildcards, each track taking an entirely different direction and leaving its listener lost in the aftermath. Summery, hook-led Faking Laughter brings affairs to a close, proving to be the most easily accessible track on the release. It’s here that TIGERCUB showcase their mainstream appeal, with a flawless ability to craft strikingly memorable pop songs.

'Evolve or Die' is a pivotal release in the progression of the band, indicating the path on which the journey towards their second album will take them. If TIGERCUB’s aim was to create something unique and avoid churning out the same recycled melodies that dominate the rock scene, they have succeeded. Whilst 'Evolve or Die' doesn’t lend itself to easy listening, and at parts slips into the realm of ridiculous, it never fails to bring something new to the table.