Pride Tiger

The Lucky Ones

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Vancouver's Pride Tiger are a no-nonsense, meat-and-potatoes hard rock band. Listening to their debut album, The Lucky Ones, it's easy to imagine the foursome opening for Montrose in a smoky hockey arena somewhere in the hinterlands of the U.S., or maybe playing third on the bill of a festival and blowing the headliner off the stage with a gust of balls-out rockitude. It's definitely not hard to imagine them wedged into a mid-'70s AOR playlist somewhere in between Thin Lizzy and Nazareth and sounding perfect. The album is a hard-charging, tough-as-nails guitar rock album that will have old-school rockers waving their canes with joy and get the kids hopped up on AOR fumes. Every song on the record sounds like it was beamed in from the no-fuss, no-muss '70s, and there's not a single ironic moment or winking joke to be found anywhere -- this is seriously rocked-out noise that succeeds wildly. That Thin Lizzy connection is key to the album's success. Much like Lizzy, Pride Tiger can make a thundering racket but can also pull back and expose a deeply romantic soul. Tunes like "Fill Me In" and "The Lucky" have an aching, lyrical quality that is pure Lizzy. It helps that singing drummer Matt Wood captures Phil Lynott's hazy drawl quite nicely. The raw, punchy sound of the guitars is another key; so are the sonic embellishments like bongos, organ, and backing vocals that provide some variation from the guitar-and-drum attack. No one will accuse Pride Tiger of reinventing the wheel on The Lucky Ones; they are rocking the stuffing out of it, though. And those who think the late 2000s are devoid of bands that know how to rock should devote three seconds to this album -- they will instantly see the folly of their ways.

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