Drunk Tigers
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Drunk Tigers

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"Show Preview"

And finally, for the indie pop fans out there we've got a good show at Matchless on Saturday night, featuring Brooklyn bands Dream Diary and Phil & the Osophers, plus two bands from Charlottesville, Virginia -- The Invisible Hand and Drunk Tigers. The Invisible Hand remind me a bit of Of Montreal by way of Superchunk or the Clean. Definitely a '90s indie rock thing going on, pretty good. You can download two tracks at the top of this post. Drunk Tigers aren't bad either, a little more in the shouty Port O'Brien school of things. - Brooklyn Vegan


"Drunk Tigers play the Studio at Webster Hall early tonight"

We highly recommend kicking off your weekend by seeing Virginia's Drunk Tigers at the Studio at Webster Hall tonight. They're not listed on the venue's website and we're not really feeling the rest of the lineup, but DT singer and guitarist Matt Bierce sends word that they've jumped on the bill at the last moment. It'll be worth going just to catch this quartet's first NYC show.

Drunk Tigers recently released a split cassette on Funny/Not Funny Records with Andrew Cedermark, who's also playing a show tonight. That one is at at Monster Island Basement with The Beets, Coasting, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks and Dead Gaze.

You can watch the video for "Matchbook Tricks," the standout track from that split cassette, below.

The band is also playing on Saturday at the Shed Fest way up in Whitestone, NY with The Marsh Hens, Eleanor, Highway Gimps, Dirty Blonde, Pluto & the 2012's, Candy Hearts and Streight Angular, if you've got a car or are up for a long trek.

- Eardrum NYC


"Review of show with Islands"

“Real fun polished hard hitting rocks songs with a vocalist reminiscent of Calvin Johnson... Saw them when they opened for Islands back in September and definitely stole the show." - Witchmond


"Show preview at Velvet Lounge"

"Indie beauty in a rather raw and unadulterated jangle fest, coupled with an angular lyrical august that those of us who grew up with Pavement can well appreciate." - Respect Music Ezine.com (D.C.)


"Top Ten Records of 2009 - Review of "3 Songs" EP"

“[A} perfect, if all too brief, debut. These songs are great, the live version is great, it's all pretty great. I don't think I'm the only one who can't wait for more by these fellas.” - WTJU 91.1 FM


"Band Description in show preview"

“Heavily influenced by the Replacements / Hüsker Dü aesthetic, with healthy doses of Undertones / Exploding Hearts / Dischord…actually fuck it, they?re just a really charming and great garage band…a powerhouse of what used to be called „college rock?” - Nailgun


"Local indie-pop-rockers return to a golden era: Drunk Tigers bring back the house party"

The scene: mid- to late 1970s Charlottesville. Rugby Road to be specific. The fraternity scene, to be even more specific.
Live music in central Virginia was at its peak during this era. Bands like the Skip Castro Band, and The Casuals featuring Johnny Sportcoat introduced alternative rock ‘n’ roll to 18-year-olds raised on radio-ready hair bands — think Aerosmith … on repeat — and events, like the now-defunct Easters, were a mishmash of stellar local bands, up-and-coming national bands and rivers of alcohol. It was an time remembered fondly by University alums and townies alike — before the term “townie” was associated with taboo figures — as a golden era of music in Charlottesville.
Then what happened? The past three years have seen venues close — Starr Hill, Gravity Lounge, Satellite Ballroom — and bands grow up and leave town, such as Parachute, formerly known as Sparky’s Flaw. The quality of local bands has not decreased, yet the overall scene diminished, with fraternities abandoning local bands and students forgoing rock for hip-hop and rap. Thus, stumbling upon a house party featuring three up-and-coming bands Monday night recalled the vim and vigor of the 1970s-era music scene — and grassroots-styled live music, which I thought was a forgotten concept, came to life before my eyes.
The bands? Richmond-based In Circles, which was hardcore without wanting to be defined as hardcore, local indie-poppers Drunk Tigers, and Olympia, Wash. indie-rock band Gun Outfit. I went for the local attraction of the Drunk Tigers (Zach Carter on guitar, Matt Bierce on guitar/vocals, Mike Parisi on drums, Dan Sebring on bass), whom I had seen previously at The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, where I snagged both a tank top — which I wear proudly — and a CD for an affordable $3. Clearly, they really know how to cater to the poor college student.
The Tigers are becoming a bit of a local favorite; the local bloggers at Nailgun Media have raved about the Tigers’ energy and enthusiasm during their shows. There also was a feeling of being in-the-know: I am sorta-kinda acquaintances with guitarist Zach Carter (a coworker of a friend) and felt like an insider for even knowing about the party at all (tucked away on Preston Avenue, diagonal from McGrady’s Irish Pub).
The scene was a far cry from Rugby Road fraternity houses but was incredible nevertheless. Now, I do not like to use the word “hipster,” and I’m sure the kids there would not appreciate its use in describing them, so I will avoid the term altogether. But you know the scene: guys with heavy beards, thick-rimmed glasses or both, with skinny cut-offs and tight T-shirts, sipping on PBR and smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately I stood out with my perky, yellow Finch dress and longed to have the oversized T-shirt with visible bra or checkered shirt and clunky shoes, sporting thick, messy hair, that awkward bag strapped across the chest and a lip ring and/or beauty mark ring — you know the one, right above the lip. My friend and I were the only ones with the least visible amount of tattoos — one each, compared to the sleeves, shoulders and chests covered with erratic designs. But there was one fabulous man, with a pink button up, cut-offs, Birkenstocks and long, blue socks totally rocking out two inches away from the bassist. And, of course, people in the know had brought along their earplugs — as the house party was indeed a house party, with the bands jamming a foot away from the audience, and acoustics did not play a factor in any sense of the term.
The concert itself was a pleasure, although the house overheated quickly and everyone smelled like sweat. “This song is about beer,” Carter yelled into the microphone before breaking into an opening chord. The playlist was a bit on the shorter side, but then again, it was already 11:45, a Monday night — and these guys all have jobs. They busted out my favorites early but kept up the banter and played with such enthusiasm that the crowd cheered and howled with each new offering. The sound was crisp, although new strings on the guitars made for some static on the speakers. The lyrics were a bit muffled because, well, it was a house and the sound quality was not amazing. Yet the camaraderie between the audience and musicians provided a surge of energy that regrettably goes untapped in larger venues, with faceless audiences and stand-offish artists.
Is live music dead in Charlottesville? Never. But the spirit and punch of the 1970s scene has certainly dimmed. I just like to think that with the Drunk Tigers’ house party, maybe a bit of legacy was re-ignited, sparking a new wave of grassroots live shows in a home near you. - The Cavalier Daily


"Jungle Rock and Business Casual: IS Venue gets a clash of New York offbeat and Cville staples"

I ran into a familiar face downtown recently; I had taken note of this guy as he stood alone, grinning by the speakers, during a rock show at Is Venue last Tuesday. He was fairly memorable considering that he stood in the back of the dimly lit venue, shouting, “Where’s the music!?” as one of the bands ran their sound check. Although this could be inferred as rude bordering on obnoxious, I tend to respect those who are willing to show up to shows alone, on a weekday, no less, especially since I am usually one of those people (aka weirdos). I approached him on the street to inquire about his opinion on the performances. “I had a good time,” he said, “Caninos were great; they’re just so...dear.” Though not the exact qualifier I had in mind, “dear,” seems like a good way to open any discussion of this particular student band.

In a somewhat related occurrence, before the Drunk Tigers took their place on stage, I asked their bassist how he would describe his band’s sound. “We’re kinda like 90s party rock,” he replied as his bandmates nodded in ascent. It’s almost eerie listening to music that exactly fits the band’s chosen genre (90s party rock is a genre, right?); I don’t think anyone could have put it better.

Also somewhat related: No one at Is Venue that night knew a damn thing about Hearts of Darknesses, besides the fact that they were from Brooklyn, and that they were going to play something noisy that involved a keyboard.

It’s tough to get excited about a show when the audience is comprised of about twenty people, some of which are sitting, but The Drunk Tigers’ utter lack of pretension and obvious enjoyment on-stage made up for the lack of listeners. A frenetic mix of grunge and pop ensued; it was a soundtrack worthy of the most rowdy of parties. It was not music meant for intellectualizing, and it was obvious that nothing was written for the sake of attracting scenesters or music nerds. Instead, the Drunk Tigers offer something that is purely fun, enjoyable and danceable rock n’ roll with plenty of appeal. It was reminiscent of jokester bands such as The Unband (featured on the Super Troopers soundtrack!) with a slight nod to Ramones-style punk. Anyone could like their tracks whether they care to admit it or not. Personally, the only real drawback was that I didn’t have PBR in hand, the set really called for it.

Hearts of Darknesses brought in some interesting concepts music-wise but their performance was lackluster. Charlottesville was their last stop after a long tour, and, whether it was due to exhaustion or lack of interest, they seemed sloppy and at times listless on stage. Though entertaining for the first few minutes, the crowd seemed to grow tired of watching these boys slur and stumble across the stage. The group is comprised of a bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist. Together, they provide an interesting mix of electronic sounds and moody alternative rock. Think of a mix of a slightly upbeat Nine Inch Nails and the darker samples of Justice and you (kinda) get the picture. After sampling their MySpace page, I have decided they could have potential, but they need to step up their stage presence (or at least not treat a small-town show like its their own personal band practice).

The last band on the bill was U.Va. favorites, Caninos; a band mostly comprised of dudes I work with on this very publication. They play folksy pop and, as one fan put it, “their songs are catchy as shit, yo.” Their mix of classic acoustic sounds, light bass, and charming vocals create a melodic and appealing rock that (as corny as it sounds) has everyone in the audience smiling. The band’s coordinated ‘business casual’ outfits helped too. Though their music is simple, its difficult to categorize and compare. I liken it to a combination of a far more upbeat Wilco and a much more raw, less rehearsed Weezer (if that makes any sense to anyone besides myself) which could place them in an alternative folk genre. Regardless, there does not seem to be a single person who hasn’t enjoyed their shows, so they are definitely worth a cover charge.
- The Declaration


"Listening Party: Drunk Tigers"

Tonight, at Velvet Lounge, a super solid, if not super flashy indie rock show is going to happen.
Anchoring it is one of Charlotesville’s hotter new acts (with the hottest imaginable name): DRUNK TIGERS. To describe them, it is easiest to say: it sounds like what you imagine indie rock sounding on the most primal, basic level. Zach Carter, the man behind and in front of the band, was in a couple of post-punk bands in his young life, and after Fallout Countdown (which featured Gavin Holland in his pre-DJ days) disbanded, started Cataract Camp which recorded and toured with Travis Morrison and, in the end, turned out an EP with Tigers that goes has from fast and furiously shredding to oddly intimate in a matter of minutes. Check it out:

Overland
This started out as a much slower, dreamy little pop song Matt wrote, with lots of chorus on the rhythm guitar. By the time we finished it, it was a punchy rock and roll song with an organ and big countrified leads. When I laid down the lead guitar parts, the engineer joked that we were channeling Skynard. I don’t care who it sounds like. This is one of our favorite tracks to play live.

Winter Party
We usually collaborate on lyric-writing, but this song is all Matt, and they’re some of my favorites. Once you take a corporate job, it’s only a matter of time until it completely dominates your life. You’ll watch your close friends move away and eventually you’ll start looking forward to the lame-ass corporate holiday parties where you can get totally blasted with co-workers you don’t know very well. Matt came up with some one-liners that lighten the mood a little, including a piece of advice I have never given nor received: ‘don’t take your pants off, there’s gonna be a dance-off.’ And that’s exactly how they get you. Hey, the office isn’t so bad, somebody brought in brownies today. Bam. You’re 45.

Outer Banks, Inner Peace
Our drummer Mike wrote my favorite line in this one– ‘Scotch and soda in Texas on a flight delay.’ Nobody drinks scotch and soda in Charlottesville. Bourbon is the cool liquor to drink, so much so that nobody ever even thinks about ordering scotch. And if someone does order it, they’re making a statement by ordering an outrageously expensive scotch that you wouldn’t dare dilute with soda. This behavior is arbitrary, meaningless and pervasive. But when you’re stranded in an airport with nothing to do, things you never do at home seem suddenly appealing. On a whim, you order a scotch and soda. And it tastes novel, bright, refreshing– you’re surprised to find yourself feeling a little bit better. But you’re still kind of bored, because it’s a fucking airport.

Want more:
Check out Drunk Tigers on myspace here and check them out at Velvet Lounge tonight with Impossible Hair, Connect the Dots and Gavin Holland DJing. Good times.
- BrightestYoungThings.com


"Drunk Tigers' Zach Carter talks new EP, peanut butter and the 'Mats"

Can’t remember what was playing on Zach Carter’s turntable when I wound up on the porch of his Belmont house a few months ago. But between Budweiser-n-’bascos, I remember that Carter suddenly stood up. He went indoors, lifted the needle, lowered it onto Neko Case’s first solo album, The Virginian, then returned to his seat.

Perhaps better than most local musicians, Carter knows what a rock album should sound like and, moreover, what committing to a band means. By the time his former band, Cataract Camp, closed its lids a few years ago, Carter and his bandmates recorded an album with Dismemberment Plan leader Travis Morrison and completed the sort of endless, ambitious tours you book when you’ve got a lot of love for the material you’ve written.

“We didn’t lose millions of dollars or anything, but it does kinda suck to be in Arizona and to not have enough money to buy a jar of peanut butter so you can make it to New Mexico,” said Carter during a recent interview. “When that band broke up, I didn’t think I was going to play in a band again. I thought, ‘I don’t want to put that kind of energy into music before. It’s too disappointing when it doesn’t work out.’”

“Of course,” he added a moment later, “I was wrong.”

Naïve bands are the first to have their hearts broken, but Carter’s new act, Drunk Tigers, is too wise to be easily led and a touch too music-savvy to kid itself with line-straddling shrug-alongs. Example? Drummer Mike Parisi, may be new to the skins, but he booked acts for Tokyo Rose and spun his share of albums for WTJU, which leads this writer to believe that if the Tigers wouldn’t see it or spin it, then they likely wouldn’t play it themselves.

Drunk Tigers—Carter, Parisi, singer/guitarist Matt Bierce and bassist Dan Sebring—have a new three-song demo and a handful of gigs coming up, including a spot this Saturday, September 26 at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar ($5, 8:30pm) and an October 10 gig with Titus Andronicus at The Southern Café and Music Hall. The EP was recorded with Bella Morte synth player Micah Consylman at his Final Symphony Studio, where he produced the most recent Synthetic Division album.

“We wanted it to sound like a rock record,” said Carter, but I pushed him for a few rock touchstones, and he shares ’em—Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, and The Replacements’ Tim. Then, I brought up the Neko Case incident from a few months before.

“I love the way that record sounds—like Neko Case and her band in a room,” said Carter. “And there’s tons of reverb on her voice, but it sounds like she’s standing in a big room singing.”

“It’s really hard to sound intimate with a big rock ’n’ roll record. That’s more what folk musicians do. But I like it when rockers can do that.” Drop by the Tea Bazaar on Saturday night to catch hints of “Swingin’ Party” in tunes like “Winter Party,” and to see just how intimate you can get during a Tigers set.


Welcome to the jungle: Drunk Tigers (from left: Matt Bierce, Zach Carter, Mike Parisi and Dan Sebring) unleash a few intoxicating blasts of noise on a new demo. Catch ’em at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar on Saturday.

- CVILLE WEEKLY


"Big Cats Under the Influence"

I vividly remember Drunk Tigers’ first show at the now defunct Is Venue back in the beginning of the year. Despite having problems while sound checking and faced with the prospect of playing to only ten people (both not unusual for a show at Is Venue), Drunk Tigers played a loud, raucous set. Of those ten people, I think the majority knew they were on to something. Even their first bassist, Jon Bray, exclaimed to me a week later, “I heard some bootleg recordings of that show—we sounded fucking tight!”
Eight months later, the band has come a long way. After the departure of Jon Bray and the addition of bassist Dan Sebring, they managed to climb WTJU’s charts with their first EP and land opening sets for bigger acts such as Islands, Titus Andronicus, and Pattern is Movement. On the eve of their homecoming show at the Tea Bazaar, I spoke with Matt Bierce, guitarist and singer of the group.
The Dec: When did you guys first start playing together?
Matt Bierce: Zach Carter (guitar, vocals) and I started playing two summers ago, in 2008. Mike Parisi (drums) joined us last fall and played our first show last December. We had our first bassist, Jon Bray, join in March and now we have another guy, Dan Sebring, who started playing with us this past July.
I know Mike Parisi hasn’t been playing drums for too long. Does that influence the music at all, perhaps give it a more primal feel?
You could say that. I guess you could say he’s been forced to have a selective sound and his arsenal is more focused as a result. He does sort of tend towards heavy, floor-tom beats, but that kind of complements what we do, which is pretty straightforward guitar-rock. So, it worked out pretty well. I don’t know who to compare him to, but he does like to do some fills and other things like you might hear in New Order. But all around, we’re all a little bit loose, and Mike’s style is good because he’s not really locked into a certain way of drumming or trying to show off or something like that.
Does having a new bass player change the band’s dynamic at all?
Since Dan has joined, we’ve been playing a lot of shows, so he got up to speed pretty fast with what we’ve already written. We’ve written some stuff with him since then as well. I wouldn’t say he’s changed the kind of stuff we’re doing. He tends to be a little more punk-influenced than our earlier stuff, which isn’t really relevant because we’ve only been a band for a year! (Laughs) I wouldn’t really say it’s been a huge change.
Who primarily writes the music in the band?
I’d say it’s pretty collaborative. I will often have an idea for a song, like a chord progression or some lyrics. Maybe that’s like half the songs. Zach and I just click together really well, and have similar taste. From there, it’s really collaborative. We change stuff all the way up until when we record. It’s hard to say who writes what, but he has songs that he sings and does the lyrics for.
You mentioned that you guys are really still a new band, as you’ve only been playing for a year. Does the amount of positive feedback you’ve received surprise you?
Yeah, a little bit. We weren’t really expecting it. Zach’s been in bands that have toured a lot, but I really haven’t. I’ve been in bands that have played a lot before, but the bands I’ve played in were never really looking to do a lot and get a lot of attention. We just kind of played for our friends, or at bars and parties. In Drunk Tigers we didn’t really expect much attention, but I guess it makes sense. We’re not neophytes. We’re coming out of some experience, which is cool. But I really wasn’t expecting it, going into this band. I just wanted to play in a band and write songs, and get all that out there.
How would you say Drunk Tigers is different from previous bands that you’ve been in, or bands other members have been in, like Cataract Camp [Zach Carter’s previous band]?
I think we’re a little bit more straightforward than most of the bands I’ve been in. I’d say probably the same goes for Cataract Camp. They wrote some really cool, punk-infused, Fugazi-ish stuff. But we’re not trying to do anything really when we set out to write songs, it’s just what flows naturally. I guess that’s one benefit of having played in bands before, we’re not trying to impress ourselves or each other. We’re just playing straightforward fun songs. I used to play in a band called the Gult Coast Army in Charlottesville, back in 1999-2003. We played fun songs, but didn’t have a consistent style. We just wrote whatever and played the hell out of it. Drunk Tigers is much more streamlined now that we have a sound.
Why did you guys decide to play music in Charlottesville?
We all live here. I work here, Zach works here, Mike was in grad school recently, but he now works around here. Dan just moved back to Charlottesville this past year, from Richmond. We didn’t have a choice, I guess! (laughs) We’ve all been here for a while.
Do you ever feel like Charlottesville is ever holding you back in terms of success? Do you think it would be easier in a bigger city like New York?
That’s an interesting question. I suppose one might have the opportunities more at hand for reaching the people who make all the decisions in the world, but at the same time, you’re just a drop in the bucket. Up in New York, what’s the point of competing against all of those other bands? I wouldn’t go there just for that. But at the same time, people up there are more used to seeing shows just because it’s a bigger scene there. In Charlottesville, there is a scene, but it just can’t support the huge number of bands and venues in the same way. It’s a smaller, more dedicated, group of people who are remarkably good musicians, and passionate about it. But there is a high turnover, because it’s a college town. I guess that’s the biggest downside of the scene here, but I honestly don’t see a huge advantage in being up in New York for music.
Tell me about your upcoming release.
We actually don’t know what it’s going to look like, but we’re going to the studio in about two weeks to record a handful of songs. It’s all originals, two of which we just finished writing last month. Another one started as this bizarre, poppy television theme music, and it’s continued to morph over the past nine months. But weirdly, that poppy riff that started it off is gone, and it’s a faster, different song. It’s an interesting song that is parallel to our evolution as a band (laughs). But we’re probably just putting out a short EP, or maybe we’ll combine it with a past EP and make it a longer piece with some artwork.
Tell me about your upcoming show at the Tea Bazaar.
We’re playing Friday, November 13th, with two bands. Impossible Arms, from Chapel Hill, are on Odessa records. They just recorded a new album. They’re really fun, they’re a dirty kind of early 90s indie-rock sound. I would compare them to something like Dinosaur Jr., in that vein of interesting melodies, paired with gutsy-loud rock. We’re excited to play with them. They’re on a label with some bands I really love, The Kingsbury Manx and Americans in France. We’re actually playing with Americans in France in December.
The other band is called Red Satellites. They’re also from Charlottesville. They do a pretty fun, dancey, piano-driven, David Bowie kind of glam thing, and I’m friends with those guys, Kevin and Dan. They write good songs. It’s gonna be a good show.

Drunk Tigers play at the Tea Bazaar on November 13th.

Gary Canino is a second-year.
- The Declaration (University of Virginia)


"Ameritacular! - show preview"

"a sound that manages to be both cuddly and vicious" - Philebrity.com


"Review of the Andrew Cedermark/Drunk Tigers cassette split"

Charlottesville’s own Drunk Tigers have only been playing music together for about 18 months now, but they’ve made rapid and perceptible progress in that short time. Anchored by the disturbingly handsome rhythm section of Mike Parisi on drums and Dan Sebring on bass, the band’s twin guitar slingers and singers Zach Carter and Matt Bierce whip up mini maelstroms of rawk intensity that combine midwestern meat-and-potatoes garage with DC-style angularity to form highly infectious singalong tunes. They’ve got five songs on their side of the tape, all of which are perfect for hitting the highways this summer. “Sirens” nicks a shadow of a riff from The Strokes, but Bierce tells a much more relatable tale than Julian Casablancas ever managed to. And Carter’s kinetic “B-Movie” speculates that “psychedelic salamanders…feed on control” without resorting to cheap fearmongering. Even better, local wunderkind Adam Smith from The Invisible Hand recorded the band and the results sound very solid. These songs can’t hardly wait to turn your Walkman or car cassette deck into a swingin’ party.

As some people know, Andrew Cedermark used to be in Titus Andronicus, a loudly enthusiastic rock band from New Jersey that was profiled recently in the New York Times. Andrew’s music is much more subdued than that of his former bandmates, but no less engaging. The four songs on his side of the cassette (with his band, the presently christened Buffalo Wild Wing) weave a reverb-drenched tapestry underscored by plaintive keyboard colors, glockenspiel accents, and Andrew’s own low-key and unobtrusive singing style. The first two songs, “Poverty” and “Lookin’ For A Boswell,” move along at a slow jog, giving way to the thundering gallop of “Masterpieces.” The final track, “Memory,” is a haunting guitar-and-organ meditation on fraternal relationships; it’s also an ideal closer to the side. Close listening reveals thoughtful lyrics, especially in “Poverty,” where Cedermark laments the fact that “all these privileged folks, their yokes are borne by the poor,” a sentiment especially relevant in light of the recent BP oil spill. Sometimes it’s a struggle to decipher what exactly he’s singing about, but the songs are there—does it matter what “Masterpieces” is about when it sounds like a fantastic high-octane Microphones outtake? Cedermark’s got a full-length record coming out later this year, but until then this should serve as a perfect placeholder to tide fans over.
- Nailgun


"New/Old: Latest release from local rockers features a vintage look and feel"

The members of hometown favorites Drunk Tigers aren’t prolific— although their latest release, the mixtape Drunk Tigers versus Andrew Cedermark, released by Harrisonburg label Funny/Not Funny, is their third release of new recordings in a year’s time. Rather, this local rock band, savvily noting how timing can be everything in entertainment, has drawn out its presence with occasional EPs. And, like many fine things, this is one band that grows better with age.
Four out of the five songs featured on the mixtape are “vintage” Drunk Tigers, according to dual front men Zach Carter and Matt Bierce. The guitar and vocals team note that only one song, the album’s single “Matchbook Tricks,” (which has also been played live under the moniker “Shark Fight”) is newly written.
“If you listened to us in 2008, [these songs] are what you think of when you think of Drunk Tigers,” explains Carter. “We weren’t planning on releasing these, but they were a good fit for a tape, thematically.”
These are staples in a Drunk Tigers live show— and they don’t lose a bit of that sloppy yet biting live feel when recorded. The essence of the Drunk Tigers lies in the mixture of anti-establishment, punk-influenced lyrics and a disheveled, devil-may-care live show. Sometimes, their guitar strings break and they can’t finish a song with a full ensemble. Sometimes drummer Mike Parisi hits the snare really, really hard. But through it all, the music is aggressive and raw, “punchier” in a vulnerable way according to Bierce.
“Our live show has always been fun, but as performers, we’ve kicked it up a notch,” says Bierce.
“We’re getting better at telling stories,” says Carter. “It’s easier for us to evoke a scene, moments of dramatic tension, snapshots.”
Last February, during the last of the winter’s major snow falls, the quartet went into Adam Smith’s studio and recorded “everything we had in a finished state,” says Carter. When Funny/Not Funny approached the band to do a mixtape, they were in luck— the “Adam Smith Sessions” were the right fit for one side of the tape. In a moment of intuition, they asked Andrew Cedermark offhandedly to record for the other side. And sparks ignited.
“It is complementary, although his live stuff is way more rock ‘n’ roll,” notes Bierce. Carter agrees.
“When recorded, it’s bedroom folky, and he’s pulling a lot from the 60s, 70s, rootsy people,” says Carter. “It sounds folksy, bluesy, earthy— but I’d never accuse him, or us, of writing pop music.”
Although Cedermark declined an interview, due to his role as the music editor for C-ville Weekly, his presence on the tape adds a sharp, yet dreamy perspective. Cedermark plays powerful live shows, with energy that permeates the audience. Recorded, he is folksy, or “jangly” as Bierce aptly terms it. He plays intimately, with each guitar strum accentuated, each changing pitch of his voice notable.
The synergy of Cedermark and the Tigers make for a well-rounded experience: when the delicacy of Cedermark’s dream-rock becomes too dream-inducing, you simply flip over to jolt into consciousness from the very first punch of drums and the throb of dueling guitar melodies Drunk Tigers are known for— or vice versa.
Funny/Not Funny releases Drunk Tigers vs Andrew Cedermark Tuesday, June 8. Both bands plan to play a four-day release tour July 1-4.

- The Hook


"Black Square EP Review: Drunk Tigers"

At their almost weekly shows in town, Drunk Tigers have secured their place as Charlottesville’s go-to goodtime band. Put on their new EP Black Square and all of a sudden it’s five o’clock, the dudes are here and beer’s in the fridge.

“Lessons, Hurricane” opens with some of the band’s best attributes: funny lyrics sung in a surreally great rock and roll voice, incessantly hummable guitar lines and a ramshackle rhythm section. In “Lessons, Hurricane,” songwriter Matt Bierce repeats with conviction, “I want to go home,” before undercutting the sentiment with slang: “Where have my homies gone?” Through the EP’s four tracks, the lyrics continue to traffic in declarations that are somewhere between confusing and compelling. In “Photos of Sad Brokers,” Bierce sings, “It’s not my birthday, it’s not my problem.” Like many of the greatest lyrics, I’m not sure what it means, but it sure sounds good.

Guitarist Zach Carter takes on vocal duties for “Small Town,” where he sings, “After seven years I can’t believe I’m still around this small town.” It’s an ode to all the UVA graduates whose big-city aspirations get drowned in booze. But Charlottesville begins to sound like paradise when he growls, “ten minutes gets you from the front porch to the bar.” Here, drummer Mike Parisi’s pounding sounds less rigid than it did on the band’s demo from last year, providing a sturdier backbone for Drunk Tigers’ dual riffage and Dan Sebring’s basswork.

Where songs on the band’s first EP had titles like “Outer Banks/Inner Peace” and “Groundhog’s Date,” “Small Town” and “Tightrope” show a band more comfortable taking emotion at face value, and not hiding behind puns. On Black Square, Drunk Tigers take a step towards a simplicity that resembles maturity. That simplicity also resembles The Replacements, the proto-indie rockers who did as much as any other band in the 1980s to elevate teenage boredom and angst to an art form.

In this radio-ready EP, Drunk Tigers continue their mystical research at the pantheon of bands-with-four-dudes. They’ve succeeded in summoning influences from The Replacements to Archers of Loaf, Television to The Cars. In other words: Work’s out, dudes are here and there’s plenty of beer


Drunk Tigers’ Black Square EP will be released alongside EPs by Corsair and Red Satellites at the Southern on February 20. - C-ville


"Drunk Tigers: Small Town MP3 review"

Drunk Tigers' "Small Town" is one of those songs for every Velvet Rut kind of town. I only needed to hear the song once through to have it hit me. Five more spins for good measure followed [purely out necessity and desire].

In that listening space of my brain it's the soundtrack to a grainy, black and white 8mm film. The streets all look a little haggard, the sidewalk passes by as the camera catches each step from a worn out pair of tennis shoes. You see the littered telephone pole with tomorrow night's show poster. A xeroxed band photo and the words "$5 COVER! Tell your friends!" written in black Sharpie.

The high school kids shuffling their feet on the Downtown Mall. The college kids on the Corner. The hipsters down in Belmont. The long straight line of West Main, over the bridge, past the beat-up parking lot across from the old Starr Hill Music Hall. Sitting at the Blue Moon counter with a cup of coffee. Leaning against the wall outside with a smoke. Your friends trying to look cool or ironic. Years later we'll just look back and see how young we really were.

A band plays on the stage, a crowd of heads silhouetted against the stage lights . Someone in the audience bounces up and down. Another yells out the obligatory "YYEEEEESSS!" that is almost always heard when the first couple bars of a favorite song come ringing all fuzzy from the speakers. Most of the crowd stands there slightly swaying or slowly bobbing their heads. The drummer pounds out another broken beat. The guitar player takes his lead. The bass keeps time. The frontman sings:

"Spending all my money in a small town
Living like I got somewhere to go,
No one asked me the ugly, pressing questions
With answers I don't want to know.
Ten minutes gets you
From the front porch to the bar,
Practice smiles and cigarettes
And someone on your arm.
So they close the corner,
You hang around downtown.
After seven years here,
I can't believe I'm still around."


------

"Small Town" appears on Drunk Tigers' latest 4-song EP Black Square (self-released in February of this year). You can pick yourself up a copy at the band's next live show. Straight outta Charlottesville, Drunk Tigers perform at Nighlight in Chapel Hill, N.C. on March 19, Random Row Books on April 1 and The Box on April 22 (both in C'ville), Rock N Roll Hotel in D.C. on April 23, and Pianos in NYC on April 24. - The Velvet Rut


"Chapel Hill show preview @ NIGHTLIGHT"

Charlottesville, Va.'s Drunk Tigers put curlicue, thin vocals in front of a four-piece indie rock outfit with a knack for good hooks and a love of direct, emphatic rhythms. But these songs offer welcoming, slightly menacing surprises, like occasional bursts of distortion and sidemen that shout their halves of antiphonal choruses like marching orders. Think of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, only if they wore brass knuckles as they went from town to town, starting fistfights at after-parties. Raleigh's NAPS gathers a few well-known locals behind the anxiously intimate songs of Daniel Michael, glowing drones, noisy scraps and elliptical drums cresting and collapsing behind them. Pros and Cons, the side project of Transportation's Stephen Murtaugh, headlines. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin - Indyweek


"Review of Andrew Cedermark/Drunk Tigers split cassette"

The people over at the blossoming Funny/Not Funny Records sent us two tracks off of the Andrew Cedermark/Drunk Tigers split tape, out on June 8th. You’ll recall Cedermark’s track on the Underwater Peoples Winter Review; that oh-so-twangy-jam that made more than a few grandmas tear up. Here we see a different side of the man on the track “Lookin’ For A Boswell” the full-sounding song that has more than just a tinge of noisy-Americana. On the other side, the band Drunk Tigers is quite new to me, but they seem to hark back to the early days of indie, taking influences from genre forefathers Beulah and Built To Spill–with the upbeated-vox of Paul Westerberg. You may purchase the aforementioned cassette here. - Weekly Tape Deck


"Drunk Tigers / Andrew Cedermark Split Cassette Preview"

Funny/Not Funny Records, the awesome analog recording company based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, are set to release a split cassette on June 8th featuring two Virginia natives. Andrew Cedermark and Drunk Tigers both hail from Charlottesville and have been making quite a stir on the blogs lately. I’ve seen Drunk Tigers popping up in my rss feed like mad lately, and I’ve written gushingly over Cedermark in the past.

So yeah, I’m a bit excited to check this tape out in full. But for now, F/NF was nice enough to send over one track from each side, wetting my appetite for more cassette awesomeness this summer. Cedermark’s new track, entitled “Lookin’ for a Boswell” is a sprawling and winding track that, however ambitious it becomes, is always ground in his gentle vocals layered ever so particularly behind the banging cymbals and twanging guitar. The Drunk Tigers track is a more upbeat and pure rock tribute, entitled “Matchbook Tricks”. A hybrid of Free Energy and maybe even some Tapes ‘N Tapes, “Matchbook Tricks” is a fun burst of guitar driven Virginia rock. Enjoy!
- Beach on the Moon


"Cassette split preview"

Funny/Not Funny just sent over word on their newest release, an incredible split cassette from Andrew Cedermark and Drunk Tigers. I've been waiting for Andrew Cedermark to really catch everyone's attention and if you get this tape you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's a whirlwind of hazy fuzzpop with a folk tinge that keeps you hooked throughout. Drunk Tigers speed things up a bit with a more garage punk vibe that forces you to jump out of you seat and dance about the room chaotically. Well, that's what it did to me. Head here to order a copy now. You don't want to miss out on this one.
- Get off the coast


"Andrew Cedermark & Drunk Tigers - Tape (on Funny/Not Funny)"

The wonderful Matt Leech from Funny/Not Funny Records just sent over one of the many new treats they have in store for us in the coming weeks - a tape split between Andrew Cedermark and Drunk Tigers (both of Charlottesville, VA). Harrisonburg, VA-based label F/NF is quickly coming into prominence with a few hefty tape releases by some of my favorite regional bands (this great one, the Young Sinclairs, Invisible Hand, Matt Leech, etc)…As for this split tape, former Titus Andronicus member Andrew Cedermark delivers a hazy and shoegazy dose of cavernous rock music tinged with healthy touches of twang. ”Lookin for a Boswell” has the beautiful, sparse-to-intense waves of Phil Elverum’s music (the Microphones/Mt. Eerie). Drunk Tigers are a bit rowdier, grinding out 5 rock songs with an energetic intensity of classic indie bands like Superchunk and the Replacements. This excellent tape split is limited to 100 and definitely recommended - head HERE to pre-order. - Speakertree Records Blog


"Band description"

Charlottesville, VA's Drunk Tigers blend intimate rock swells with direct garage rock hooks resulting in a ear snack full of grit and pop. A four-piece outfit whose replacements-esque lead vocals are occasionally accompanied by upbeat shouts from the rest of the band that would fit well with any after party dance fest. Don't believe me? Take a listen. Instantly you will find yourself transported to a room with all your favorite dudes and fridge full of beers. All that is left to do is party.
- Funny/Not Funny Records


"Buzz: Three’s company: Triple whammy release show from local up-and-comers"

Drunk Tigers, Black Square
It makes sense that the feel-good rock of the Drunk Tigers has a certain suburban, everyman, feel to it— guitarists Matt Bierce and Zach Carter did meet while working at SNL Financial in 2008, after all. In the band’s first single, “Winter Party,” from their summer 2009 EP, the lameness of corporate holiday parties and the fading of youth is grimly depicted in the line, “I’ve been living cigarette to cigarette / and all my friends are dead.” And although they’ve retained that satirical edge to their work, the quartet— Bierce, Carter, drummer Mike Parisi, and bassist Dan Sebring (brother to Corsair’s vocalist Paul)— has grown upward and onward from their original basement-recorded debut and occasional shows at the Tea Bazaar. A regionally-raved rock outfit, DT has evolved its songwriting into the thick, lyrically-catchy EP Black Square.

“In a few of the bands I’ve been in before, I played sweet, shoe-gazer songs,” remembers vocalist Bierce. “This has a little more edge, dissatisfaction.”

From punk to country, the musical stylings exhibited here reward listeners with the slick, raw sound available most often in a live show. Featuring both primal drumbeats and twangy chords, pulsing riffs and the contrasting vocals of Bierce and Carter, Black Square reflects an intimacy of DT’s live shows, where audiences are often mere feet away from the band. One listen may have you itching to jump up and dance, while the second will have you appreciate the hooks and catches of the riotous ballads and heart-wrenching, poppy tunes.

“At a certain point,” says Parisi, “we don’t worry about what people think.”
- The Hook


Discography

"Three Songs" - May 2009 (self-released EP)
"Black Square" - February 2010 (self-released EP)
"Andrew Cedermark vs. Drunk Tigers" - June 2010 (Funny/Not Funny Records cassette tape split release)

Photos

Bio

Drunk Tigers is an unsigned rock and roll band from Charlottesville, Virginia formed in 2008. Our songs are good and our shows are fun. We recorded a demo that topped the rock charts on college radio station WTJU last summer. Our second EP did the same. We played at MACRoCk XIII. We've played with some great bands including Islands, Titus Andonicus, The Love Language, Pattern is Movement, and The Whigs.

Our names are Mike, Matt, Zach and Dan. We used to play in these bands, but don't play in them anymore: Nekrolog, Gulf Coast Army, Cataract Camp, Order of the Dying Orchid, Fallout Countown and In Circles. Influences include: The Replacements, The Clean, Pavement, Fugazi, Guided by Voices, Television, The Rolling Stones, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr.