Tiger Charmer: Goes Great with Beer

Tiger Charmer, From Left to Right: Ethan Bender, Landon Leibel, Tyler Cyca, Travis Rennebohm

Tiger Charmer, From Left to Right: Ethan Bender, Landon Leibel, Tyler Cyca, Travis Rennebohm

Nick Murray

Regina 4-piece Hard Rock band, Tiger Charmer, officially only became a thing in 2016. Landon Leibel, the bass player, and Tyler Cyca, the drummer, had themselves a jam space they frequented in the basement of Gabbo's on Dewdney Avenue. That's where it happened that Ethan Bender started hanging around with them. Bender can shred a guitar, so it only made sense that he join in on some of those jam sessions.

Jam space + musicians = band

It didn't take long for the three of them to build a big portfolio of songs to play live, either.

"We played our first show a month or two later at the Rebellion Brewing Music Fest" Bender said.

"We continued writing riffs. Then we showed the songs to our buddy Travis (Rennebohm); and he dug them, so he joined as lead singer".

There you have it; the Tiger Charmer origin story. Nothing too exciting. Just a bunch of talented buds that wanted to be in a band. 

On July 7th Tiger Charmer released the self-titled seven track album that is the reason for this story.

But it's not the first time in the new bands young life that they recorded something. In 2017 they released an 3 song EP called Lit at Both Ends.

Listen to Lit at Both Ends on Bandcamp

The band approached things a little differently for the longer album. The music on Tiger Charmer is thicker and sludgy and nicely polished. They incorporated the recording skills of a local production expert and percussion wizard.

"We made the record with Chris Dimas in his studio, who was fantastic to work with. Everyone had a blast and Chris did an amazing job of bringing our ideas to life" Bender said.

Tiger Charmer, the album

Tiger Charmer, the album

The band is a guitar-oriented band; there is no doubt about that; Tiger Charmer (the disc) is a testament to that.

Songs like "The Hole" and "Climb to the Sky" have a Fu Manchu sound to them, a psychedelic stoner-rock feel; while "Good Doctor" and "Bad Vibrations" are more along the lines of something Mastodon would release; hard-charging rock music that would have been considered metal if it came out a decade earlier. Only Travis Rennenbohm's voice sounds like neither Fu Manchu nor Mastodon. He hits higher notes and sings with a little more clarity. Don't be fooled by that description though; he still isn't afraid to inject ferocity and violence into a song. Rennebohm is a little more "accessible" than Fu Manchu or Mastodon. Maybe a more accurate description would be Volbeat or Wolfmother or even Shannon Hoon.

But back to the guitars.

"As far as songwriting goes" Bender said, "we write basically a bunch of riffs that kind of share a feel or musical theme, and then arrange all the little parts to make one big song. We’re big fans of weird key changes and time changes and stuff like that, so we like to have an element of unpredictability in the songs. Travis writes all the lyrics and vocal melodies after that."

Fittingly enough, the music they play is a lot like the music they listen to when they aren't playing the music they play.

"We all like a wide range of stuff, but if we’re all chilling, drinking beers and stuff, lots of riff-heavy stuff, some psychedelic rock. Basically anything that goes well with beer" Bender said; more or less describing his own band.

Tiger Charmer: goes great with beer.

You can listen to Tiger Charmer (both albums) on Bandcamp and Spotify and find out for yourself. I recommend I pint of Rebellion.