Take note, San Francisco has struck again.
The Bay area has prevailed once more with… folk. Now the first thing that comes to mind is the thought that they are synonymous right?
As of late, that would prove to be a stereotype and we here at Nanobot, don’t like to use stereotypes.
Even if you leaned on the stereotype of folk, whether it is mumbling old guys breathing heavily into a harmonica or the long bearded tambourine player, Rin Tin Tiger would certainly adjust your mind frame.
Changing their name and challenging border guards, this California trio has just broken the surface with their EP, aptly named Rin Tin Tiger. Formerly named Westwood & Willow, brothers Kevin and Sean E. Sullivan snagged the drumming talents of Andrew Skewes-Cox to establish a folk band with roots in Dylan, Morrissey, and Tupac.
The lonesome harmonica, reminiscent of an old west showdown, lingers into a picked acoustic little ditty moments before exploding into the swinging opening track “Ghost Door.” This addictive explosion of acoustic guitar, clapping beat, harmonica laden opener will have you singing along to Kevin and Sean’s vocal treble fades in a matter of seconds. The words you’re quickly looking to sing along with are “Hey you Ms. Glue I’m stuck/ you better count me in cause…/I’m gonna need your help.” Bands try to fuel this type addictive song writing, but most don’t come close to the talents of these guys.
Falling in line across the board, Rin Tin Tiger made the most of their six song EP.
“Spooky Spider” opts itself to the example of raw sound they strive to achieve. The obvious proof is in the scraping strings as Kevin dances about the frets with the muted picking breakdown and Andrew’s brilliantly timed crash cymbals, makes up the core of the recording process. The less obvious proof is found in the ambient intimate feel of songs such as “Red Pony” and “Far Away.” Scattered emotions and pet names lyrically finding comfort within each track, it only takes a few trips down the neck of Sean’s bass to find your folk-home in Rin Tin Tiger.
Drawn into an EP, it’s a shame we don’t have a full length album to rock our folk with. With six tracks like this, it won’t be long before these guys aren’t questioned why they have instruments and merchandise coming across the border. They can simply state “We’re Rin Tin Tiger.”