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Jackpot, Tiger's self-titled sophomore effort feels like a colorful collage of twee pop tropes. None of the ideas on this album are especially original, but the band has combined what's already out there in novel, exciting ways.
A lot of the throwback ideas work so well because the songs on this record are so meticulously layered. Overflowing hi-hats and childlike vocals sound refreshing as they ring over the heavy, punk-inspired guitars that make up most of the album. The juxtaposition of bright pop rhythms and dark, heavily distorted guitars creates a that's easy to follow like pop music, but still powerful enough to bang your head to.
An aesthetic that recreates the sound of 90s indie rock bands has a lot of potential to be overly derivative, but this band manages to dodge that concern by changing up their style frequently. The rebellious-but-cute track "Please Protect Me" and playful transition "Shortbread Cookie" delightfully recall mischievous '90s jangle pop sensibilities. The band even touches on ska and dream pop on "Easy" and "Float Away," respectively. These songs don't capture the feel of earlier, similar-sounding bands as effectively as the others, but 35 minutes of raucous power pop would have been overwhelming, so the stylistic variation ends up being in Jackpot, Tiger's favor.
The lyrics won't do anything to disprove preconceived notions about power pop. Many contemporary twee acts like Los Campesinos! and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart write lyrics that sound like endearingly sentimental, late-night journal entries of young adults coming of age. Jackpot, Tiger's words touch upon a lot of the same ideas, but in more obvious and less engaging ways, but they complement the garage rock guitar melodies well enough that they're not an impediment.
While Jackpot, Tiger may be easy to lose in the huge crowd of similar-sounding groups from Brooklyn, but they've got a lot of raw, sincere charm, and at its heart, that's what indie pop is all about.
Favorite tracks: "No Crying", "Please Protect Me", "Want To, Want To"