Although their name sounds absolutely absurd, When Tigers Used To Smoke is actually a term used to start Korean folktales, kind of like “Once upon a time” in western phraseology. So, in keeping with the spirit of things, back when tigers used to smoke, there was a band of Birmingham folk who did create a rather fine EP. To mine ears it doth sound as thus:
Opening track ‘Circles’ is a sprightly, Blossoms-esque, angular indie tune, ‘The World Stills Spins Around’ adopts a Smiths veneer, ‘The Birds’ is a speedy-paced, fast drum and jangly guitar ode to living free and caring less, ‘Wake Up Call’ is a comedown moment of calm clarity, ‘All This Time’ sounds almost like Blur playing a Red Hot Chilli Peppers track, although that may just be that their vocalist here sounds like Damon Albarn and the tempo is pretty chill. The record is bookended by two ridiculously strong tracks, ‘Circles’ beckons us in and ‘3/4’ waves us affectionately back out the door with a manic waltz that blesses the EP with it’s title, “It All Just Seems Pretend” as the quintet encourage the listener to mull over life, death and everything else for a little bit, in the safe space of a charming melody.
I’m afraid no one has filled us in on how Koreans tend to end stories as well so we’ll just crudely sign off this review with a: The End.
‘It All Just Seems Pretend’ was released way back on 3rd February 2022 and we apologise profusely for not reviewing it sooner. We’ve linked the EP on Spotify for you below: