“Tigermending” is the latest album from the criminally overlooked singer/songwriter Carina Round. This album is a bit more of a departure from her more straight forward rocking out of Slow Motion Addict and plays to her more warped and distorted side.
Opener “Pick Up The Phone” tells of tales of woe hushed over industrial puffs of machinery and guitar feedback as the four chord salute chooses and interesting path to ensure it sounds catchy but quite uneasy at the same time. “The Last Time” features a more sturdy drum beat but initially a barren sound-scape of bass and guitars. The choruses explode into a pouring out of emotion with screams from each instrument played. The song then changes feel and tact for the final third as guest Sierra Swan takes the lower choruses and everything culminates in an epic frenzy that’s cut off in its prime. “Girl and the Ghost” has a rumbling of tom drums to get your blood pumping over exceptionally happy guitar plucks similar to something Go Team-ish. The song quickly retorts back to anger for the choruses and then it gradually sweeps into the second verses too. It’s very clever how happy manic can quickly become anger management material! “You and Me” is pretty much the closest the album comes to a ballad as an acoustic guitar reigns supreme over an anthemic “I miss you yes I Do-do-dooo. Do-D-D-D-Do Do” which is a song that if I owned a lighter, I would be waving it so high above my head the sky would be ablaze. Phenomenal.
“Set Fire” is a brooding rock anthem with great use of stereo for placing instruments in different places in your ears. It’s a very catchy track with some excellent lyrics too which effortlessly blends from its echoing goodbyes into “You Will Be Loved” which showcases Carina’s higher vocal register which is strong and emotive. It knows exactly when to pour the sound in and when to actually just let a few instruments breathe. Carina’s ability to just meld different things together is astounding – especially the closing fanfare which is beautiful. “Marcel Marcel / The Arrangement” opens with some very garish guitar which stays throughout but is then built upon with the usual layered vocals and harsh apocalyptic keyboard synths. It’s actually possibly the most straight forward track on the album but still has a wonderful ethereal ending where all the vocal melodies and lots of keyboards rise up into organs for the closure. “Weird Dream” uses the bendy bar and tuned percussion to generate an uneasy tone with lots of plucked detuned guitars. It’s got a Broadway Horror vibe to it that slowly descends into chaos for the second half where the guitars and drums go off on a wobbly and someone is shouting damnation before it transitions into a 50/50 scary and enlightening closing minute with Carina singing as high as she can go over a five chord salute to all b-movies in town. Magical.
“Mother’s Pride” returns things back to a slightly more normal rock tune where Carina really gets her rock out on. It’s like a stadium rock piece with the band smashing up the instruments in the middle of it. “The Secret of Drowning” is the track where all the synth edge of the album culminates in what is a bizarre track where it feels like everything is going in slow motion but far too fast at the same time. It just feels so very intense with its slightly detuned nature and offbeat effects. It’s fantastically creepy. The album ends with “Simplicity Hurts” where cute keyboards that are similar to Backseat from her last EP return for a gentle melody to send you off to dreams.
“Tigermending” is an amazing album. It’s like Carina Round went for everything that can make you mosh like a rabbit on speed and then minced it into a horror movie. There’s something so innately disquieting about the entire thing. That’s why it’s simply amazing.