Add Date: July 20
Artist: Miniature Tigers
Label: Modern Art
Genre: Rock, indie pop
Comments: It's no coincidence that Morning Benders frontman Chris Chu produced Fortress, the new LP from the Phoenix band Miniature Tigers. The two acts appear to be on the same career track: both released thoroughly enjoyable indie pop debuts in 2008, and both have followed up with sophomore records that are much richer and more intricate, without sacrificing a shred of the band's accessibility.
Recorded at the Dreamland studio, a converted 19th-century church in upstate New York where Beach House laid down Teen Dream, Fortress is indeed a leap forward from the first Miniature Tigers LP, Tell It to the Volcano--which, again, was by no means a subpar effort to begin with. Songs like the synth-laced "Gold Skull," featuring work from Neon Indian, the swirling pop of "Bullfighter Jacket," the '60s jangle of "Mansion of Misery" or the bombastic psych pop of "Lolita" display the band's diversity and maturity.
On my first review of Miniature Tigers on this blog, writing about their April 2008 Black Magic EP, I said that they "aspire to reach the level of The Shins or Spoon. Miniature Tigers don't quite get there... but their effort still makes for an enjoyable listen." With Fortress, they've arrived.