The wait for summer can be cruel -- it's March and we're in shorts; the air's warm enough for swimming, but the water's not. Listening to "Swimming Pool Blues," the new single by former Phoenix band Miniature Tigers doesn't make the wait any easier. The band's sunny indie pop evokes a summer afternoon lazing in a backyard cement pond. "Blues" -- off the band's forthcoming record, Cruel Runnings, its fourth full-length -- indicates a similar sound heard on 2012's Mia Pharoah, which saw Mini T's heading in a poppier direction, away from the guitar-driven tracks on their debut album, Tell It to the Volcano.
It's the combination of the pop and the rock that makes a Miniature Tigers show so fun: "Mansion of Misery" is bound to spark a sing-along while songs like "Gold Skull" could be played in a dance club. Sometimes, bands that perform too many unreleased songs commit a concert faux pas, leaving fans without the familiar. But if Mini T's unveil much of Cruel Runnings onstage, and it's all as good as "Swimming Pool Blues," then there won't be any problem at all. -- Melissa Fossum