SELBY TIGERS: The Curse of…: CD

Feb 05, 2009

I love it when you can listen to an album and tell that the band has a great record collection. Take the Selby Tigers, for example. You can hear a bit of the Undertones, a little Vibrators, a healthy dose of X-Ray Spex, some of Dillinger Four’s give and take, some of Eddie Cochran’s guitar work, but you can’t nail down any of those bands and say, “These guys sound like this band.” That’s the brilliance of the Selby Tigers: they have great influences and know how to blend them together and come out with something very original. Every time I listen to this album or their first album, Charm City, I wonder why everyone isn’t going nuts over this band. Everything is here. Their music is honest and sincere and energetic and rockin’, but they’re also really skilled musicians, and they write great songs. So why aren’t they huge? It has to do with the Curse of the Selby Tigers, which is this: you have to listen to a Selby Tigers album five times to love it. The first time you listen to it, you’ll like it, but you won’t know why. You’ll think, it’s different. It’s quirky. I think I like this. The second time you listen to it, you’ll still like it, but you won’t be so sure. Maybe it’s too different, too quirky. The third time you listen to it, you’ll think, yeah, it is too different. It just doesn’t match the rest of my record collection, like a collared shirt in a punker’s closet. The fourth time you listen to it, you’ll think, I don’t understand what I saw in this album in the first place. So you’ll listen to it once more, and everything will open up to you. It’ll be an epiphany. You’ll have listened to the album enough to start picking up bits and pieces that you didn’t notice before. A guitar riff. Drums gathering speed. Arzu ripping through her vocal chords, then softening back into key. A hidden bass line. It all comes together. You’ll be hooked. You’ll want to listen to the album every day for months on end. You’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t love the Selby Tigers. Then, you’ll realize that no one listens to an album five times to understand it. You’ll realize that the Selby Tigers are victims of snap judgements. It would make you sad, but the album is too fucking good. You can’t be sad. All you can do is keep listening and singing along.

 –sean (Hopeless)

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