Tigerface: Castlecore Pt. 1

Title: Castlecore Pt. 1

Basics: Enough of this hip hop stuff, our weekly locals-only review column YAFI was built on emo-tastic pop punk.

What better way to return to the fold than with Tigerface's latest album Castlecore Pt. 1? Now, had this album -- which is stretch for something clocking in just under 24 minutes while containing six songs -- been named Crabcore Pt. 1, it could have possibly been the greatest YAFI album of all time. Unfortunately, Tigerface doesn't play crabcore. Dammit.

Best Song: I'm wary of songs with the name "The Funeral," but Tigerface managed to give their best effort on their song of the same name. The vocals aren't too emo-bangs-and-gold-diamond-allover-print-purple-hoodie -- as they can be on some other songs. They are subdued, mellowed out and help carry the song, which brilliantly uses Tigerface's penchant for grandiose, overarching orchestration. There's even a pretty hair metal-tastic riff in there for good measure.

Worst Song: Featuring those aforementioned purple hoodie vocals -- with not one, but two vocal modulations -- "Silence is a Killer" is just a wee bit too much. What we have here is not only the most cornball-titled song on the album, but the chorus is just all over the place, thanks to the vocals being both distorted AND autotuned. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but that is just way too much shit for me to handle. Autotuning never did anyone any favors, and it sure as shit isn't helping things in this situation.

Suggestions: My one suggestion would be to not call something with six songs that is less than half an hour long an album. That's an EP. Even Me First and the Gimme Gimme albums -- which usually clock in under 30 minutes -- have at least 10 tracks.

For having those emo-riffic, pop punk vocals, this "album" is surprisingly listenable. Usually, such an effort is so over-the-top bad that it becomes laughable. Castlecore Pt. 1 has many things going against it, yet it manages to not come off as some half-witted, jumbled mess of an album. Ambition rides high with Ari E. and Chris E. -- the sole members of Tigerface -- and it shows. I like the overblown orchestration and slow-building, ambling starts to their songs. It keeps things fresh and varied, rather than employing those same jagged chords and played out riffs that made pop punk famous a decade ago. 

Grade: C+

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034

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