August 30, 2023

Teiger (pronounced ‘Tiger’) is a new London-based trio fronted by photographer, singer and guitarist Talie Rose Eigeland. Their music is difficult to pigeonhole, sounding as it does like something that has evolved on its own, without much reference to what anyone else is doing or playing. It’s alt-rock, sure, with flavours of punk and new wave, while masses of reverb makes sure it has one foot in the ‘60s. Eigeland’s guitar sound varies from clear-toned semi-acoustic work that could have come from the age of the Shadows or Elvis, to crunchy fuzz from the era of grunge, backed by fluid bass work form southpaw Philip Eldridge-Smith, and highly imaginative drumming from Jon Steele.

Nevertheless, the three-minute instrumental opener presents as ambient prog, building from almost nothing to jazzy chords, to light rock, to almost a cacophony of noise before it gives way to the first song proper, Sahara, featuring an almost tumbling rhythm that trips and staggers without ever falling over. Eigeland’s vocals are swathed in reverb, giving this number a retro sound that harks back to Jefferson Starship and Grace Slick’s spacey story-telling; it’s also tempting to draw parallels with Siouxsie Sioux, or underground indie bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Ting Tings.

The vocals are never overly prominent in the mix though, and the general lo-fi vibe sinks them further into that tom and bass backing; in Come And Find Me, they are almost muffled, adding to the background rather than being the focus of the song. Taken just on the guitar and bass, you would call this a slow song, but Steele’s rumbling toms drive it along, as they do most of the numbers.

The highlight of the set for me has to be Splinter, with its imaginatively springy guitar work, along with some distortion and wah effects, in which a rumbling bass powers along in 7-8 time, while periodically resolving itself into Radiohead amp effects. Steele rarely has recourse to his snare, preferring to drive each song with a mix of rolling toms, but he makes excellent use of a more conventional kick drum and snare sound on the rocky Hydra.

Even so, the most varied number is probably The Law Of Diminishing Returns, featured at the foot of this page. Again, it rocks along with rapid toms and a repetitive guitar line, before suddenly breaking down at a minute and a half, restarting almost as a different song. Multiple changes of rhythm and tempo make it almost punk-prog, if you will. This is taken even further on the closing number The Thinnest Wall, in which they draw ever weirder sounds out of their instruments, with a folky interlude in 11-8 fading in halfway through, and melting down into yowling, indecipherable vocals at the end.

Call it experimental if you will, or punk-influenced rock, or prog-influenced new wave, but no genre title is going to nail it exactly. The video below is pretty representative though, so give it a look and see what you think.

Teiger’s self-titled, self-released debut album is available from 8th September on all major music services.