Review: Tygers Of Pan Tang – A New Heartbeat (EP)
Mighty Music (February 25th 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
I was admittedly a late arrival to the Tygers of Pan Tang party, but I corrected that when I reviewed their last release ‘Majors & Minors‘, a greatest hits of their four most recent releases. When I got the opportunity to review something new from them, I leaped at the chance. What we have here is ‘A New Heartbeat‘, an EP to tide us over while the Tygers finish up their new album. The EP contains two tracks that were completed for the new album as well as re-recordings of ‘Fireclown’ and ‘Killers’ from their debut album.
Let’s start with the new tracks. If you liked the direction of their last few albums, I’m happy to report that we’ll be getting more of that with their next release. The title track roars out of the gate. With it’s lyrics focusing on overcoming everything that’s held us back these last few years, it’s a call to arms that will easily make it’s way to any future greatest hits compilations should they decide to release more down the road. The other track, ‘Red Mist’ also has some powerful riffs on display for its main melody line. The chorus is a bit of a let down as it slows to a 12/8 signature beat, which can still sound heavy, but just makes you want to return to the main riff as quickly as possible.
Having never heard the original versions of the two re-recorded tracks, I decided to check them out and compare them to the new versions. ’Fireclown’ has a different, atmospheric intro, with guitar chords plucking away (think Dokken’s Dream Warriors intro) before the familiar opening bass kicks in. The new version sounds awesome and powerful, compared to the very dated initial recording. Purists will probably prefer the original, as there is some studio trickery going on including vocal and guitar effects that thicken the overall sound, whereas the original was probably a one-take recording.
Moving on to the original version of ‘Killers’, and to my ears, it’s a song that takes a lot of inspiration from Boston’s song ‘Smokin’ which was released a few years prior to Tygers’ debut album. With this new recording, I don’t notice the similarities as much. Unlike their recent output, this track has a distinct 70s vibe to it, so i prefer the vocal stylings of original singer Jess Cox for this track, but Jack Meille certainly gives it his all here.
It’s amazing to think a band that has been around this long still sounds this strong. If the price is right, I would say don’t hesitate to pick up this little collector’s gem. All four are strong editions to the legacy of the band and promises exciting things to come with their next album.