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. Tangential blasts of noise and a persisted drone; on paper for most people these are negatives and at the very least do little to enhance the listening experience. Songs that constantly break the 7-minute barrier and genres like avant-rock, free jazz and post-rock, well, to be honest those don’t help much either.
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. Trying to describe the transition from the delicate piano intro to the heavy percussion and angry sounds that torment you on “of “Sept16th2005″ is almost impossible, but as the sounds dance through your headphones you become entrenched in the listen. The same can be said when the septet attacks any semblance of structure with scratchy horns and strings on the epic, “Grandad.”
But the band isn’t set in the chaos. Sandro Perri’s vocals add another layer to the mix on “Vitamin Meathawk”, a track that swirls with just enough urgency and a spirited conclusion to counterpoint Perri’s voice and the twinkling ivory that dot the sound scape like stars in a clear sky. On the 10-minute title track, the band weaves starts with horns and static, but quickly the track becomes a lively collection of beautiful notes, woven into a soft fabric. On first listen, you might think that JP’s trumpet is the star of the song, but the band plays perfectly off each other and executes patient surges of energy and the ten-minutes flies and has you reaching for << as the final notes fade out.