Indies And The Underground

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Review: Eight Bit Tiger ‘Parallel Synchronized Randomness’

Eight Bit Tiger, the electro pop side project of Chicago-based duo and Love in October indie rockers Erik and Kent Widman, come up with some interesting, catchy and most importantly, danceable results on their debut Parallel Synchronized Randomness.

The album kicks off with the one-two punch of “Bad Advice” and “The Night.” Both tracks are marked by heavy bass licks hell bent on making everyone surrender to their groove, while swaths of samples swirl all around to further pique the listener’s ears. Stabs of jangly guitars cut through the noise, lending the tracks a touch of organic instrumentation, while Erik’s smooth falsetto gliding over slinky riffs.

“Cameo” and “Numbers” sound like pure, early Eighties new wave, complete with synthesized keyboard chords, computerized drums and handclaps, the latter track incorporating booming drums, distortion and bouncy, rubber-band synth bass into the mix. “Our World” begins with somber guitar chords that signal a moody dirge may be afoot, before morphing into a mid-tempo, disco-era jam with dramatic strings and a deep, pulsating bass.

Eight Bit Tiger delved into dance rock territory on tracks like “Olso,” mixing grimy synths with driving live drums and ‘hey’ chants. The frenetic “Dangerous Animals” is another standout. Jittery drum clicks and snaps give way to¬† pummeling backbeats before the song opens up into a power chord propelled pop/rock jam, with the ever-present electronic effect fluttering about.

The duo veer into Daft Punk/Justice territory on the last cut “Training Wheels.” Marked by a monstrous, maniacal distorted synth line, the track features the mechanized slap bass, audio bleeps and bits, start-and-stop editing techniques, and smack-you-in-the face snare hits that are the former two acts’ bread and butter.

Although it’s not necessarily groundbreaking, Parallel Synchronized Randomness is a great, fun album that shows there’s plenty of potential in the Widman brothers’ side project.


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