Art punk ranging from indie hymns to short attacks.
Gustave Tiger have lots of memorable songs. Ostensibly art punk, they offer catchy indie hymns, short punk attacks (sometimes with punkier-than-thou titles like ‘Clitoris Crucifix’ or ‘Killing a Soviet’), and everything in between: goth, shoegaze, even some horns.
But listen closely and you’ll find a labyrinth of influences and references, spanning a whole encyclopedia of independent rock. (They have three long playlists on their YouTube channel entitled ‘Gustave Tiger’s Where To Steal A Riff From’.) This is clearly music by devoted music lovers.
However, that doesn’t mean it lacks originality, or rather personality. As guitarist Csaba Szabó said in a self-deprecating yet philosophical remark: “That may seem a bit too programmatic or weird, but most of the time my aim is to write songs that resemble other bands’ music. But in the end it doesn’t even resemble them, or not in that way I intended. I don’t know, maybe that’s what is called ‘having your own voice’.”
One facet of their own voice is the way their music is pulled together from their various influences. ‘Victory at the Antipodes’ is a prime example, with its galopping rhythm section, psychedelic guitars, and singing and horns in the style of Soviet paeans, along with a lengthy ambient interlude. All these shouldn’t work together, but they do and that’s the Gustave Tiger’s greatest talent.