Tygers of Pan Tang – Tygers of Pan Tang (Mighty Music)

Tuesday, 11th October 2016
Rating: 7/10

Wonder if Diamond Head and Tygers of Pan Tang are keeping tabs on one another. Diamond Head released an absolute gem of a self-titled album earlier in the year, garnering the best reviews and fan reaction they’ve had in eons. (We’re talking when Sean Harris was fronting the band.) Their long-time NWOBHM contemporaries Tygers of Pan Tang may not fare as well with their own self-titled album, although its approach is far different than Diamond Head’s. Consider this NWOBHM-lite.

Remaining original member Robb Weir and gang have put together an FM-ready, commercial-sounding platter. It doesn’t have much Brit grit outside of opener “Only the Brave,” which is a standard rocker with a main riff that’s been plundered to death. Vocalist Jacopo Meille is at his best on the driving “Do It Again” and “Blood Red Sky,” two numbers that harken back to the band’s breezy, melodic early days.

On the flipside, there’s a certain kitsch element to numbers like “Glad Rags,” which in an alternative universe, would be played by a bunch of aqua-net dudes in spandex, not a set of veteran U.K. metallers. Similarly light and fluffy cuts like “The Reason Why,” “I Got the Music in Me,” and “Angel in Disguise” display a bit too much fondness for soft melodies, and AOR edges, thus making them disputable in their execution.

Since we enjoy comparing bands, Diamond Head has gotten the better of Tygers of Pan Tang in 2016, producing an album that will resonate much easier with its true metal base. Then again, Tygers of Pan Tang have always had a complicated history (who knows what Jess Cox thinks of all this), so this self-titled album may not be the pop-rock leaning surprise it may seem.

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