Tiger Army's fourth album, 2007's Music from Regions Beyond, is the trio's most diverse and commercial-sounding record to date. TA linchpin Nick 13 surrounded himself with yet another new rhythm section (who knew standup bass players into punkabilly seemingly grew on trees?) and made a record that's built on their trademark amped-up psychobilly punk sound but explores some new avenues like country-rock, new wave, and heavy metal as well. Unfortunately, while it's admirable to try to expand your sound and keep your approach fresh, many of the detours the band takes sound contrived and end up falling flat. For example, aping the Killers as they do on "As the Cold Rains Falls," with its New Order-inspired bassline and ominous synths, takes the band too far away from the core of its sound. So do over-produced ballads like "Forever Fades Away," which, along with far too many other songs on the record, is plagued by overly processed and crunchy guitar tones and too slick production. The black metal backing vocals on "Hotprowl," the organ swells at the end of "Pain," the teen pop-punk backing vocals on "As the Cold Rain Falls" -- these are not things that Tiger Army needed to add to their sound. They had a unique approach that was working very well artistically; there was no reason to change anything except for strictly commercial reasons, and that's almost always a doomed enterprise. One of the few diversions that works is the country-rock-inspired "Where the Moss Slowly Grows," which features some nice pedal steel work from Greg Leisz. It's a lovely song that sounds like the work of another band entirely, and that's the problem with Music from Regions Beyond. The bandmembers seem so focused on stretching that they forgot about what got them where they were -- they added studio gloss and a radio-ready sound but subtracted energy and fiery dedication. That's a surefire way to lose your core audience, and it's unlikely that the album will gain them enough replacements to make this anything but a failure.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra