By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Kristopher Huseby of Fireside Social fame is probably one of the better drummers in South Florida, and it turns out he can pluck the bass and sing pretty well to boot. Enter Bulletproof Tiger, his latest excellent project. The band just released its debut EP, Starving Hearts, which upholds the great old tradition of handmade covers.
Rounding out this trio are Jessica Zarate on drums and Miguel Alicea on guitar, with added gang vocals from an ad hoc crew of coed friends. As far as the sound, imagine the latter half of No Idea Records alum with the sensibility of Jade Tree Records/Plan-It-X bands and you'll be on the correct road.
Well, sort of. Bulletproof Tiger doesn't fall neatly into those comparisons either. The band also boasts elements of experimental punk rock, along with moments of full-fledged hardcore that defy the incorrect "post-something" tag the group will garner.
This is punk rock — plain and simple and good. The five tracks here come up on the 28-minute mark. And while that number might not be "punk" enough for some purists who adhere to the two-minute cutoff, these tracks are complex and layered, and there's been obvious care during the creative process that should be acknowledged.
And you know what? These complex layers are exactly what make it punk rock — solid guitar work, chemically balanced rhythm, and fade-outs that create expectation and do not disappoint.
The tracks, listed in album order here, are satisfying from beginning to end: "Conversations in Prague," "Starving Hearts," "Subtle Like Train Wreck," "Cut, Burned, Broken and Whole," and "Windmills" are the best half-hour I have spent in front of my speakers in a while. And I don't spout out stuff like that without reason.
Tampa's Hold Tight! Records plans to produce a vinyl format of this delicious slab for the fall season, so you should get that too. In the meantime, hurry to own a piece of true South Florida art. No ground-rule doubles here, just sweet music. Visit bulletprooftiger.bandcamp.com to score a copy.