Review: The Red Tyger Church

The Red Tyger Church
““Free Energy”  ”
(Alive Records)

With such a silly name I was skeptical going in, expecting more lame-ass Bomp-lite retread, complete with the “we’re authentic, we have vintage amps” vibe. Thankfully, they don’t go there. This is more of a free-wheeling, retro drug rockout (but, not exactly). “Spells Against Squares” gets it rolling with ragged, sloppy 60s-90s slacker moves. There’s a can’t-pin-‘em-down, BJ Massacre aroma to some of this and it wanders far afield, shaking loose from the pounding and chugging rhythm guitar. The title track is frisky and, gulp, kind of a glam-soul anthem, it’s half-baked garage-psych, but at least it’s not straight garage rock. “Dawn of the Phoenix” shows off tinny male/female co-lead vox by Mike Diaz and Mel Berlin that actually serves to thicken the stew instead of just salting it. “Cherry Cola” bummed me out because it wants to be Ian Hunter fronting the Black Crowes, and it made me think of that awful VH1 band called Jet, or one of the two dozen major label acts just like them. “A Strawberry Slowdown” starts off tentatively but builds to a trebly orgasm of jangle. “Unicorn” misses the mark, but the eight-plus minutes of  “Wolves Of Sunshine” casts the shadow of the Dandy Warhols if they were on Shimmy Disc  Records. (Don’t listen to me, I don’t know what the fuck I’m saying.) Is this a cult? That’s all I got. Free energy, baby!