YEAR OF THE TIGER
9 p.m. Stickyz.
It seems like just yesterday The Year of the Tiger entered the 2011 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase and made it to the final round. Not many brand-spanking-new bands have that notch on their belts, but although the band itself was new, it was made up of folks from several other prominent local acts. Mike Mullins and Rob Brackett, of Underclaire renown, started the group with Josh Tate (Elise Davis Band) and Jeremy Brasher (The Moving Front, The Stranger Steals, like 472 other bands).
Now, roughly a year later, the band has released its debut EP, "Midnight Hands." The first track, "Flesh & Blood," has a big U2-sounding guitar line right out of the gate, before shifting gears to a passage with syncopated rhythm and squiggly synths that wouldn't sound out of place on a Les Savy Fav disc. "Mal De Mer" starts off with pulsing, strobe-like synthesizer and a stuttering post-punk beat before cresting with a huge chorus and soaring guitar heroics. There's a bit of a trick ending, with an unexpected classic rock style turn.
The final track, "True North," starts off with a squeal of feedback and echoing guitars that show up again, supporting a plaintive chorus. Like the song before it, "True North" takes another unexpected turn toward the end, when a raspy sounding drum machine sample shuffles into the picture amid washes of synthesizer and more snaky guitar and synth lines.
If you dig thoughtful modern rock, you'll want to get your grubby mitts on a copy of "Midnight Hands," certainly one of the better recordings to come out of Little Rock in quite some time.