Album Review: Tigercats – Isle Of Dogs

Tristram Fane-Saunders 5 May 2012

Tigercats – Isle Of Dogs

Track to download: Limehouse Nights

4/5

“I dream of you in a trendy bar in Dalston, surrounded by idiots with ridiculous haircuts…” Thus begins Tigercats’ next single, The Vapours. It’s more fun than any other track I’ve heard this month. It’s also as twee as a skipful of kittens listening to Belle and Sebastian, and here lies the problem: this is essentially music made by hipsters, complaining about how many hipsters there are. Also, lead singer Duncan has the voice of the world’s most punchable man. These things may send you running for the hills. But if they don’t, and you stick around long enough to listen, you’ll realise that Isle of Dogs is the most immediately enjoyable debut of the year.

This is catchy, well put together, deliciously likable pop. Each track crackles with energy, and is desperate to share it. The sheer level of enthusiasm can be exhausting, but when it works – as on Easter Island, Konnie Huck, or recent single Full Moon Reggae Party – it’s infectious. It’s perhaps telling that the slowest track, Kim & Thurston, is also the album’s only real dud. Limehouse Nights deserves a special mention, a series of impeccable guitar hooks and sudden changes of direction, all held together by some very tight drumming.

Tigercats certainly wear their influences heavily (early LCD Soundsystem, early Vampire Weekend, every single cardigan-wearing 80’s twee band) but perhaps this may be a good thing. After all, being a little out of fashion means that there are very few groups currently doing exactly what Tigercats do, and hardly any who do it this well.

Tristram Fane-Saunders