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Continent & Western

Artist: Fond of Tigers
Fond of Tigers - Continent & Western CD
Label: Drip Audio
Regular Price: $13.95
On Sale For: $6.98 
Year: 2010
Format: CD

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Continent & Western--simultaneously more experimental and more accessible than previous Fond of Tigers releases--shows the band honing its unique blend of avant-garde textures and post-rock structures while expanding its range to include vocals and additional members. Toronto’s Sandro Perri (Constellation Records) lends vocals and lyrics to “Vitamin Meathawk”, while Swedish experimenter Mats Gustafsson brings his intense saxophone and electronics push to “Grandad”. Bandleader Stephen Lyons also takes the microphone for the lush, unhurried closing track, “Upheaval”.

While the textures and tonalities of experimental improv are still present, Continent & Western emphasizes song structure and melodic detail over some of the more esoteric directions taken on 2007’s Release the Saviours.

From the unfolding layers of variation in the title track, to hard edge rockers like Sept 16th, 2005, to the intricate (relative) pop of Vitamin Meathawk, the third album from Fond of Tigers is a simultaneously more focused and more expansive take on the group’s unique brand of ordered chaos.

Called “post-everything”, Fond of Tigers have been developing their hypnotic and intense music since 2003. Since its origins as a solo project of guitarist Stephen Lyons, the group has expanded to include its signature double-drumkit attack and processed violin and trumpet textures along with the artfully layered hooks.

Featuring seven of Vancouver’s leading creative musicians, Fond of Tigers play a layered, nuanced music that explores musical possibilities ranging from the smallest gesture of extended technique, to the full avant-rock bombast possible with a wild, double-drum-kit-led septet. The group has shared stages with Tortoise, Deerhoof, the Grande Mothers, Shad, Mats Gustafsson, Sandro Perri, Chad vanGaalen, and others.

Notoriously hard to categorize, Fond of Tigers continue to evolve and explore a musical territory in the outlands of avant-rock.

"...there is something in Continent & Western that immediately grabs you and refuses to let go, something both instantly accessible and completely out of this world." - Vancouver Sun

"...this avant-pop combo is as much pop as it is avant, and there’s always enough structure to these songs to keep the playing, even at its edgiest, from careering into cacophony." - The Globe and Mail

"Vancouver’s Fond of Tigers keep ideas flowing at a good clip on their masterful third full-length album." - NOW Magazine

"Without question, five years of music from Vancouver’s Fond of Tigers has proven that descriptions of their sound are next to impossible and essentially pointless... When it comes to Continent & Western however, the reward is in the total experience. The moments of serenity and tradition spliced into collages of chaos and urgency are as captivating as they are conflicting and certainly better heard than read. " - Herohill
ARTISTS
Stephen Lyons (guitar, vocals); Morgan McDonald (piano, keyboards); JP Carter (trumpet); Dan Gaucher, Skye Brooks (drums); Shanto Bhattacharya (bass); Jesse Zubot (violin); Mats Gustafsson (baritone sax, live electronics); Sandro Perri (voice)
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