A horrible hack

Reiziger

The Kitten Becomes A Tiger

Year Released: 1999
Format: LP
Label: Genet
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
If you're going to take on a style of music where the best record of it's type that'll probably ever exist has already been made, duplicating a lot the similar guitar sounds and song structures, then you better be ready for some criticism.

For those still wondering, Reiziger have gone for the same approach as the Van Pelt took, and have a very "Sultans of Sentiment"-esque sound. Generally, the softly spoken vocals match the music perfectly (much better than on Chris Leo's otherwise excellent latest opus with the Lapse), and the gently lilting and swaying guitar is so relaxing and warm when played quietly. Turn up the volume and it can feel more urgent with the variation in the vocals much more evident. And I always love the parts of Van Pelt records where Chris actually sung; here Reiziger do that far more often than Chris ever did. It works particularly great on the first track.

Only problem is, Reiziger have trouble carrying it off over the whole of this album. The first time I played it I thought "wow", and songs like the afforementioned opener, "The French/Belgian Winter", are truly fabulous. But things tend to stray at times. "A Minor Operation" is beautiful, but you have to make your way through the noisier beginning to get to the pretty bit. Or they try and get a bit speedier, with slightly harsher vocals on some songs like "The Fellowship", and this is where their Chris Leo comparisons fall off a bit, not quite achieving the same level of perfection. It's good, but it's not right, as some bloke on tv once said. I did really enjoy the rather long "Everything=Slow", and wondered who Nelson Pessoa was. The "Tiger Fears Kitten" instrumental is interesting too, as is the other instrumental "Je T'Adore Immensement" which has one heckuva cool intro with a cool guitar sound / effect that sounds so early-Promise Ring it hurts! Very pleasing. Shame about the answer-machine message samples that mess it up later on though.

Stick with your Van Pelt records I suggest, although you won't go too far wrong with this album because I do like it. I just wouldn't say it was a must own.

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