Jun 28, 2014Miniature Tiger's fourth album Cruel Runnings is the moment of truth for fans, who felt alienated by the band’s third album Mia Pharaoh, as toMiniature Tiger's fourth album Cruel Runnings is the moment of truth for fans, who felt alienated by the band’s third album Mia Pharaoh, as to whether or not they have stuck to their roots of simpler instrumentation (TITTV) or if they have become as synth-obsessed as the electronic god Com Truise himself.
In terms of genre the album is a distant relative of the bands earlier works Tell It To The Volcano and FORTRESS. Alternatively Cruel Runnings shares strong musical similarities in dreamy, synthy indie pop to their 2012 release, Mia Pharaoh. In contrast to FORTRESS, the subject matter in the albums’ songs is not contorted by surreal lyricism. Today, with dozens of boy-bands and pop idols vocalising lyrics of love and breakup with simple rhythm schemes, Cruel Running’s lyricism usually flutters by without tugging my ears. For example the line “Standing in the mess we made/I don’t know how it got this way” in Better Apart is the sort of lyricism musicians would come up with in ten minutes; giving the littlest hoot imaginable.
Swimming Pool Blues (SPB) is the grand opener to the album and ticks all the boxes. It has good, sufficient lyrics, production and usage of guitar throughout sweeps you out into a grand summer scene. Used To Be The **** is a fantastic sequel to SPB. Oblivious's repetitive synth-beat should have been in a minor key - it was too happy-clappy and poppy. However the worst song could be Frazier Ave. The vocals were lazy and the instrumental was its own monster; Charlie Brand’s vocals did not belong. Selfish Girl was very good in that Charlie utters the explicit, imperative sentence “chill the **** out”. Damn right, this is a summer album Charlie, you tell her!
Overall, the lyricism in the album is subpar to previous Mini Tig releases. To make up for lost lyricism, the band has released some of their best synthy new-wave production particularly in the songs Frazier Ave, Dream Girl, Better Apart and Selfish Girl. It’s a summer album that attempts to put the band on the mainstream radar. Being a poor, small band isn’t very fun for long.… Full Review »