This is a timely release as it is made up of 2 previously released EP’s that were available only to fan club members and from the band’s official website which sold out fast . The 11 tracks here are compiled from ‘The Wild Cat Sessions’ from 2010 and ‘The Spellbound Sessions’ from 2011 featuring songs from their first 2 albums Wild Cats and Spellbound, released in 1980 and 1981. The album was compiled by the band and Bart Gabriel whose record label Skol has released it but is very limited to 1000 copies so get it while you can!
Back in the day I was more into the Wild Cat album than any of the other Tygers Of Pan Tang albums as the vocals of Jess Cox were a lot harder than his replacement Jon Deverill who was a bit like Bruce Dickinson in his delivery, but current vocalist Jacopo Meille puts new life into these songs, thus impressing an old fart like me. The opening riff of ‘Euthanasia’ literally jumps out of the speakers, taking me right back to 1980 immediately with Jacopo taking the vocal by the scruff of the neck.
‘Slave To Freedom’ easily stands the test of time with Robb Weir’s guitar solo even more over the top than the original. ‘Suzie Smiled’, a single release back in the day on Neat Records from Wild Cat has the main riff cranked right up making this also heavier than the old version. ‘Don’t Touch Me There’ was a NWOBHM classic back in the day and it still hits hard over 30 years later. ‘Wild Cats’ has a stop/start NWOBHM defining main riff with Jacopo snarling the big chorus out with aplomb.
‘Gangland’ the first song on here from the Jon Deverill era is next and is a heavier take on the original with the guitar solos pushed right up in the mix. ‘Take It’, a good slice of heavy rock, after all these years still sounds like ‘Loving You Sunday Morning’ by the Scorpions. ‘Hellbound’, my favourite song of the Deverill era is a snappier version than the original to say the least. The Tygers never wrote many ballads but when they did they came up trumps with spine tinglers like the following track ‘Mirror’.
‘Tyger Bay’, a gritty rocker is powerfully drum driven by Craig Ellis with some flashy Thin Lizzy tinged guitar flourishes throughout. Final track ‘Don’t Stop By’ is another track I’ve not heard for many years and is rejuvenated by Jacopo’s vocal range, hitting some intense Robert Plant like screams amongst soaring guitar solos.
The Tygers are currently on a European tour with UK dates being a headlining slot at the Wildfire Festival, Wiston Lodge, Scotland on June 26th and at The Garage in London the following day.
Tygers Of Pan Tang band :-
Robb Weir – Guitars.
Micky Crystal – Guitars.
Jacopo Meille – Vocals.
Gav Gray – Bass guitar.
Craig Ellis – Drums.
Album track listing :-
Slave To Freedom.
Don’t Touch Me There.
Don’t Stop By.