"Dylanesque" may be too easy a label for critics to apply and, once earned, difficult for young bands to shake.
"Dylanesque" may be too easy a label for critics to apply and, once earned, difficult for young bands to shake. But it's hard not to hear the echoes of Dylan in lead singer Tim Seely's wary voice or in the gentle wave of acoustic guitar on which it first drifts in, as with "Yardwork in November." The influence figures elsewhere on this debut album—in the way Seely plays with words, rhyming and repeating them. The Actual Tigers also limn their songs with steel guitars and drive them forward with the regular kind. They even employ, as their press materials aptly describe it, "the occasional drunken horn section" ("Shades of Brown"). The band is playful without being cutesy and, as on "Bad Day," can mix humor with hard observation: "I'm in need of a bad day, baby/Wipe this grin off my face." The former Mr. Zimmerman would probably approve.—MB