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Imagine if one of the one hit wonder bands of the 60s came up with a full album worth of cool songs
Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey
Copyright 2003 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
Tiger Mountain
As you may know, there was a time in the 60s when a ragtag assortment of American bands were spitting out one Top 40 hit after another in a futile effort to stem the tide of the British Invasion. Nothing really worked until the West Coast hippie bands came into vogue just a few years later, so this was a time when a bevy of one hit wonders that included the Swinging Medallions, the Castaways, the Standells and the Troggs were given a shot at being the next Beatles. A lot of their music was loosely based on the bluesier U.K. bands like the Kinks and the Yardbirds, whose music in turn was loosely based on American rhythm & blues or soul. If you can imagine what it would sound like if one of those U.S. groups came up with a solid album worth of cool songs, you’d have a band kinda like Tiger Mountain. But then you’d have to update it a bit and throw in some punk sensibility, too. Songs like “Read It And Weep,” “Just Like You” and “Now On TV” certainly sounded like radio ready hits when Tiger Mountain played them at Tribeca. It was familiar sounding material, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t delivered in a blingy new package. Guitarists Mike Jackson and Tyler Lenane (former Girltouchers) traded off on lead vocals, while Dean Rispler (x-Murphy’s Law) and Aaron Conte (x-Nada Surf) held down the bottom on bass and drums respectively for a tight, flowing set of power-pop with a classic rock feel.

That kinda weird mix of the band members’ musical heritage may be what gives this group its bite. Tiger Mountain sound commercial yes, but they can get edgier, too and they pulled out a song or two that were definitely not aimed at airplay and kept their show from lapsing into a ‘greatest hits’ style event. Over the past year, Tiger Mountain’s first album, Analog Heads Gone French, has been getting a bunch of international airplay and they’ve opened for the likes of Pilot to Gunner, Cobra Verde and – tah dah – the Kinks’ Dave Davies. A follow-up album is in the works.
Tiger Mountain at Tribeca:
A tight, flowing set of power pop with a classic rock feel
STRIKE! at Tribeca: