TYGERS OF PANG TANG – Ambush (2012)
TYGERS OF PANG TANG are often overlooked by the masses when it comes to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement, but they really shouldn’t be. Why? Well because they are quite possibly the greatest band to have come out of that particular time.
“Ambush”, the Tygers Of Pan Tang’s second full length album since their second reformation by original guitarist Robb Weir in 2001, reinforce the fact and prove yet again why Tygers Of Pan Tang deserve your attention.
Tygers Of Pan Tang released a bunch of very good NWOBHM at the beginning of the eighties, then disbanded and returned at the middle of that decade with a much more commercial and melodious Hard Rock style.
“Ambush” combines both, the first 5 tracks are extremely catchy and hooky, while the rest of the album is more rockin’ and edgy, yet polished and groovy.
My favorite, of course, is the first part, including really lovable tunes.
Personal highlight is album opener “Keeping Me Alive”. A few acoustic guitar bars are taken over by an electric riff before a trademark Tygers Of Pan Tang’s groove kicks in with the first soaring vocal by Italian singer Jacopo Meille. There is a killer guitar solo at 4 minutes and the choruses are instantly memorable.
Once again a huge riff comes in, this time opening the second track “These Eyes”, a mid paced rocker bringing to mind late eighties UFO. A fine melodious rocker with tons of guitar fills all over.
Another great tune is “One Of A Kind”, given the right push, could be single material. It reminds me the Tygers great 1985 album, commercial rock at it’s best but still with plenty of bite.
On seeing the title “Rock And Roll Dream” I expected a ballad but was soon proven wrong as the hard riffs give way to the vocals, sung with just the drums/bass backing them, followed by ripping guitar solos.
“She” is a Scorpion’s style stomper with huge choruses with a neat midsection of Spanish acoustic guitars and castanets. Really original.
With “Man On Fire” starts the more vintage styled part of the album, but no less effective. This track seems to have the vocals higher in the mix than any other song on the album, driving the song with a tempo similar to Kiss’ Cold Gin, while follower “Play To Win” is a more heavy uptempo beast.
“Burning Desire” is a bit slower than the rest, but layered under the lead vocals is an incredible guitar arrangement and lead parts that make you want to pick up your air guitar and rock out to your crowd of imaginary millions.
“Hey Suzie” sees the return of the character first featured in the Tyger’s 1980 single Suzie Smiled. The song reminds me the band’s earlier works with its chugging rhythms interspersed with a guitar talk box.
Album closer “Speed” does exactly what it says and could easily have been lifted from the Wild Cats album, such is it’s rawness and contains a stratospheric vocal from Jacopo.
It’s amazing that a band who’ve been churning out albums for more than 30 years can still produce full albums to this high a quality.
“Ambush”, specially the first part, is truly great, fusing the Tygers’ usual classic sound with a melodic rock influence to keep things fresh and interesting.
With this new album expertly recorded, produced & engineered by the legendary Chris Tsangarides, Tygers Of Pan Tang proves that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the world of Classic (melodious) Hard Rock.
01 – Keeping Me Alive
02 – These Eyes
03 – One Of A Kind
04 – Rock & Roll Dream
05 – She
06 – Man on Fire
07 – Play to Win
08 – Burning Desire
09 – Hey Suzie!
10 – Mr. Indespensable
11 – Speed
Jacopo Meille – Vocals
Robb Weir – Guitars
Dean Robertson – Guitars
Gavin Gray – Bass
Craig Ellis – Drums & Percussion