This Thursday marks the release of Tiger Bone’s first EP, “Go Over Here,” on their newly formed record label, Dedd Foxx. The band, while friends with many in the Chicago music scene—like HoZac Records cofounder Todd Novak, or ex-Ponys member Jered Gummere—have a sound that sets them apart: a little post-punk, a little surf-rock and a little everything in between. As drummer Mike Renaud suggests, Tiger Bones are the Randy Quaid of the hometown scene.
When asked about their influences, the band wants to claim basically all time periods dating back to the fifties as source material. As guitarist Jay Ranz cuts in, “Between the four of us, we’ve probably heard everything there is to hear.” Renaud, meanwhile, points to inspiration from the world of visual art and design, claiming that their music often follows aesthetic themes arising in favorite movies or pop culture.
Renaud also explains that an important tool in the group’s songwriting has been the shared Tumblr (ossosdeumtigre.com) account they set up a year ago. “All of us would just drop images into it that we found on the internet that we thought were cool …and I think that informed our songs more than anything.” Ranz names the site as a visual diary of Tiger Bones’ genesis.
Scanning the site, you can see an image of a comic-book arsonist above a cropped photo of Traci Lords in an erotic pose, an Itchy and Scratchy still above a photo of a skater ascending a quarter-pipe dating from the early eighties. It’s the kind of manic pop-cultural juxtaposition that you would expect from a band that attempted (not unsuccessfully at that) covering Joy Division’s “Transmission” from the perspective of Harry Nilsson.
From chilly vocals to warped and wet guitars, “Go Over Here” fills a gap in the city’s music culture that you might not have even been aware of. Moreover, the stellar production, managed by Gummere, ensures that all the moving parts in the album come through in pristine fidelity. No bones about it. (David Wicik)
Tiger Bones plays March 3 at The Whistler, 2421 North Milwaukee, (773)227-3530, 10pm. Free.