If it’s not baroque, then you need to fix it. That is the key to indie two-piece A House Safe For Tigers’ mojo, as is evident with their new release, Space Between. Members Mark Constintino and Brendon Delmont, who each have pasts rich with hardcore-punk and synth-heavy rock, have matured into a more serene sound, but retain the haunting atmosphere of their youth.
“Bumblebee,” track one from Space Between opens the door with an upbeat ode to a wonderful person, who has earned the name, ‘”My Sweet BumbleBee.” The synth provides a full metallic melody, while the drums and percussion dig out a smooth groove. Acoustic guitar fills in the background, and the chorus explodes with the band’s well-crafted hook and vocal harmony on the title lyric.
A running theme on the album is landscape and mother nature. “Sound Valley,” track number five, opens with an electric guitar riff, dry and tight. The verse keeps the track mellow with acoustic guitar, keyboards, and vocals that tell of fond memories while describing a cascading horizon line. Capping off the rolling momentum of the verse, the chorus widens the song, bringing the intro guitar riff back, but with drum accompaniment.
An instrumental piece, “Tired Eyes,” shows A House Safe For Tigers taking a victory lap halfway through the album. Its intricate structure paired with the skilled musicianship shoot a bullseye, and looks at classical music through an indie filter.
To reset the pallet, the very next song has the band driving straightforward with the most rocking track on the album, “Bells and Whistles.” The vocals are pushed more on this track, and have a melody that taper off at the end of the lyric, reminiscent of 1960’s Greenwich Village Folk, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan.
Space Between wraps up with a sweet lullaby, entitled “Tired Eyes (A Song for Anthony). ” A marching snare gives orders to a bell section and falsetto harmonies. The lyrics offer comfort as the narrator slowly puts their child to rest, giving them promises of tomorrow being a new day, and reassurance that mom and dad are only feet away.
A House Safe For Tigers, not only a Lee Hazlewood soundtrack, but an indie band who transformed from hardcore punk rock to lush indie folk, prove that music can be serene and captivating. Space Between rides the line that is necessary to keep the music fresh, interesting, and inspiring.
Written by Kevin Prentice