Lorcán Murray is feeling liberated after making some time for Tigwara
Releasing your first E.P. is a pivotal moment for any band. It is months of work; love, rage and every other colour of humanity pouring out in a celebratory fusillade. Given their reputation that is certainly what I expected coming into Limerick four-piece Tigwara’s first offering.
The lead track and single City Sleeps opens with an assuredness I’m sure Tigwara have not felt in their hearts since the EP came out. A steady, pulsing rhythm grounds the drifting guitar notes. The chorus hints at the kind of passion we have come to expect from Tigwara, but it isn’t until after the second one that they play their full melodic hand. City Sleeps is a buffet of Tigwara’s stylistic flavours: driving but measured rhythm, guitar lines that switch effortlessly from melodic to discordant and back again, but the stand out feature is the vocals. Luke and Mark share singing duties. Luke takes the first verse, his voice smoking the words like a fine ham, before Mark rubs the aches out of the knots in the back of the second verse. However it is when they combine, sounding like a duet between a lounge singer and a punk, over a vivid climax that Tigwara let you know how far they’ve come.
After the clean sound of the opening the boys decided to remind me they like to get dirty on Gimmie Your Time. Gone are the ethereal reaching notes of City Sleeps, replaced with a guitar line that has definitely been playing in the mud. The vocals come straight from the soul, one that is undeniably trying to seduce you.
That Soul opens like its thematically returning to where City Sleeps left off. So imagine my surprise and delight when the song swiftly turned a corner and slapped me in the face with a pie full of funk. It was delicious. So far the EP was a testament to how the boys have grown up, but That Soul shows they still know how to have fun.
I was delighted to learn that the EP closer Pay For Your Love continues the funky feeling of That Soul. Yet the tunes groove moves juxtaposed to the vocals, which seem to be taking the track altogether more seriously. This song sounds like a culmination of the EP’s varying styles. Up to this point Tigwara had given me three thoroughly enjoyable but distantly related tracks. Consider Pay For Your Love a family reunion. It may not be quite as wild, dirty or bouncy as the rest of the EP respectively, but my god is it confident. The rhythm toes that groovy line between funk and consistency, while the ambitious melody looks to carve itself out a space in your head with a harmony built to be sung by a crowd.
It is worth mentioning, here if nowhere else: Tigwara are tight - like skinny jeans after Christmas tight – yet they have the manoeuvrability to dance, and trust me, you will want to after hearing some of these tracks. If an EP is meant to show you what a band can do then Tigwaras’ is letting me know I want more. The opening and closing tracks explain how Tigwara have earned their ‘alternative’ label but in the interim they prove they are not beholden to it. This isn’t a humble inaugural knock on the door of the Irish music scene but rather a bold kick with a dirty boot. Personally I think we should answer.