Chicago’s Trio SHE RIDES TIGERS Tells You All About Their Debut Album ‘SCARS’ Track By Track…

14 June 2019

Chicago‘s SHE RIDES TIGERS describes themselves as a fuzz guitar riff-laden power-trio blurring the lines between psychedelic rock and power pop. They just released their debut album titled SCARS. A multifaceted work with changing tonality matching changing moods. From the lifelike human touch of ‘Scars Of Allegory’ to the jangly tension of ‘Should’ve Known Better’ and lots of other amplified sentiments in between to discover. Guitarist and vocalist Joe O’Leary will help us out and guide us through the record track-by-track…

Here are the songs

Here are the stories

1. Scars of Allegory
“This song started with some big open chords and a breakneck drum beat in a basement jam. It was originally going to be a hard-hitting punk song until I accidentally hit the ‘shimmer‘ effect on one of my pedals. Suddenly there were octaves and overtones that made the melody more sad and spacious. We were led to this melancholy feeling and the lyrics ended up being centered around the challenges we go through as individuals and within relationships, where each person takes on damage throughout their lifetime. That damage becomes a defining feature of who they are, so why not feel proud about showing our scars?”

2. Perfect Crimes
“This gigantic fuzz pedal riff landed with a thud during the first or second jam we had with our then new drummer, Ryan. It just felt like us, and the timing of where the riff and drum beat met had a lot to do with our collective obsession with Led Zeppelin. The lyrics were a cathartic exercise in acknowledging some past romantic relationships and then letting them go. This song was one of the first we wrote together and, to us, it serves as a stylistic transition between the EP ‘Standing On The Edge‘ and the new album.”

Led Zep: obsessional influence

3. Take a Bow
“We all have points in our lives where we know we weren’t at our best but we somehow achieved a kind of sloppy grace and kept going. There’s a 70’s glam feeling of debauchery in general, which we channeled with pride on this song. When you’re on a roll partying and sleeping around, it can become a spectacle to the people around you, almost as if you’re putting on a performance. This song explores the mentality of doing all the dirty things no matter who’s watching, and to drunkly yet charmingly take a bow for whomever catches the show.”

4. Heart Worth Breaking
“Here we are again with a song about relationships. It flips the idea of relationship aspirations on its head and explores the perspective of measuring the strength of your relationship with another person by way of finding out how deeply each person can break the other’s heart at any given moment. Sometimes the vulnerability we reveal when we open ourselves up to someone else can make it feel like a piece of ourselves is slipping away and being swallowed up by the other person with regards to the affection, lust, and self-disclosure that occurs.”

5. Out of My Mind
Ryan began warming up one night at Populist Studio, where we rehearse and write, and James [Scott, bass and vocals] and I both looked up as we heard this strange drum pattern he was absentmindedly doing. We both grabbed up our instruments and just started bashing away to it. That became the verse of the song. The melody inspired a sense of longing in me and chorus lyrics began to surface about the anxiety of leaving [and being] left behind. The verse lyrics are like a character (poorly, but charmingly) pitching the reasons why they shouldn’t be left behind while also revealing a general dissatisfaction with the average “work-eat-sleep 9–5″ lifestyle many of us feel trapped within. This is my favorite song to sing on the album, and my favorite guitar solo to play live at the moment.”

6. Something to Believe In
“We grew up playing punk shows in Midwest basements, garages and VFW’s in the 90s. Each band member carries an underlying punk ethos, and this song simply let that bubble to the surface without trying to dress it up in something clever. The lyrical theme follows suit with a nostalgic look into my punk rock past as a teenager and the simple reality that it was. It’s another song about being cool with where you came from and what shaped you, and letting it go so that it no longer has any hold on who you may grow into.”

7. No Way Out
“The MC5 will always be a source of inspiration to this band, just as much as desert rock bands like Queens of the Stone Age. Sonically, we smashed these two styles together and a song about the consequences of our actions took shape. It’s another one about glorious debauchery, where you do all the wrong things even though you know it’s wrong, and you just go down in a blaze of glory. We’ve all been there.”

MC5 forever

8. Should’ve Known Better
“This song poses a possible reality where the fanatical supporters of Donald Trump (and others like him) suddenly wake up and realize they were fooled. We didn’t want to make it sound angry, it’s quite fun to play. The instrumental section in the middle might be one of my favorite on the record.”

Thank you for the track-by-track breakdown, Joe.
May the road rise with SHE RIDES WITH TIGERS!


(Photos Led Zep & MC 5: AP Press / Getty)

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