Album review: Tigress – Pura Vida

Essex rockers Tigress formidably find their place in the world on assured debut album, Pura Vida.

Album review: Tigress – Pura Vida
James Hickie

There’s much to admire about the debut full-length from Tigress. Its freewheeling attitude to musicality, for instance, sees the Essex quintet courting grunge (F.L.Y.), pop rock (Feel It) and theatrical balladry (What The Hell [I Feel So Unwell]), while channeling the energy of their previous incarnation as power-popsters The Hype Theory (Generation).

The element that really sets it apart, though, is the stage at which it finds its authors. We’re used to the idea of breakout stars enjoying a meteoric rise early on, and more than accustomed to the older band navigating stardom many years in. What we’re less familiar with in terms of artistic expression is hearing from a band in their thirties, working away as diligently as ever and still waiting for the touch paper to truly light. Tigress have been open about their place in their world during interviews in support of Pura Vida, and philosophical about it on the album itself, particularly on the lovely Starting Tomorrow, which articulates the pressures of wanting to do, and be, better.

All this would be an exercise in futility, of course, if this album didn’t show the promise that justifies Tigress’ place on the precipice of bigger and better things. It does so with aplomb; every track, regardless of its chosen style, is imbued with a sense of energy and urgency, with the only trend the band is following seemingly being self-fulfilment. Such a mission statement requires a confident leader, which Tigress have in Katy Jackson, whose vocals are rowdy or raw, fragile or fucked off, as the situation and song requires. Pura Vida, you may or may not know, means ‘pure life’. Pura Vida – the album – is a purely enjoyable slice of life lived out loud.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: You Me At Six, Boston Manor, Trash Boat

Pura Vida is out now via Humble Angel.

READ THIS: Pure Life: How Tigress found the secret to happiness

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