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RED TIGER Alive...And Still Believing

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, November 13, 2014 @ 9:47 AM

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Local Spotlight: Houston's RED TIGER

Alive...And Still Believing

LXG Records

Every once in a while a band comes along that surprises the shit out of me and leaves a great first impression. In this particular case, the band is RED TIGER.

My very first exposure to this hard rocking band came when they were chosen to open for THE FOUNDRY, the band fronted by former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley. Right from the start I was blown away by both their stage presence and musicianship. Though they are new to the Houston music scene they are by no means amateurs.

Having recently transplanted themselves from Puerto Rico to Houston this past year, this band epitomizes everything I loved about the hard rock and metal from the 80's and early 90's, even if RED TIGER's members aren't really even old enough to have lived and appreciated that glorious era in music. Alive...And Still Believing is the second release for RED TIGER and judging by its content, the band has some serious talent.

The CD starts off with a track called "Real Love", a slight oddity, at least to me in that most bands put an uptempo, faster tune as their leadoff song, but I'm most certainly nit-picking here as this song in no way detracts from the rest of the CD. In fact, right off the bat we see the musical styles the band incorporates into its songs, catchy guitar hooks, harmonious vocal choruses and clean, intelligible vocals. The band sounds a lot like STRYPER in that regard, without the Christian lyrics permeating the songs, though after listening to the CD a couple of times the possibility of them being a Christian band certainly came up because of the positive nature of their lyrics. But no, the band just relies on personal experiences to come up with lyrical content and it works quite well here.

The band's first single/video of the record is a track called The World Can Change", the video for which you can check out on KNAC.COM right HERE. This sums up the description from earlier, very melodic metal that shows off the nice vocal range of front man/rhythm guitarist Red Latu, the prowess of lead guitarist Moe Rodriguez and the solid foundation of bassist Tiko Duran and drummer Alex Figueroa.

Song after song the listener is exposed to the varying influences the band uses to create their own sound. Bands like KISS, SCORPIONS, RUSH and IRON MAIDEN show through on tunes like "Overcrowded Emptiness", the only track on the CD sung by someone other than Latu, that being drummer Figueroa, with its blistering guitar solo, and "Free". Once again, take every element from 80's hard rock and metal, roll it all into a nice ball of musical content and you have what RED TIGER is all about. OF course, none CD from that bygone era would be complete without at least one ballad, and Alive...And Still Believing follows that formula with 2 tracks out of the 12 being of the ballad variety, "Forever Young" and "Until".

Being from Puerto Rico originally there would obviously be a touch of Latin influence in their music, and true to form, the majority of the band's first release was done in Spanish (8 of 14 songs). So, it would be reasonable to assume that there might be a song or two on this new release in Spanish as well. There are 3 on this CD, "Tendran Que Escucharme", "No Hay Razon" and "Prision De Amor". It doesn't matter what language is being used because music is the universal language, and in this case you don't have to be bilingual to know that these songs kick ass, it shows in the music.

The CD closes out with the title track, "Alive And Still Believing", and just when you thought you were done being surprised, RED TIGER pulls a couple more rabbits out of the hat. In addition to Latu's great, melodic vocals, the listener is treated to some nice incorporation in the arrangement, like the inclusion of piano, acoustical guitar and orchestral elements into the mix which combine to provide the fullest sound production possible.

From a production standpoint, Alive...And Still Believing was produced by the band themselves and judging from the output, they do know what they're doing! This CD has been in my player pretty solid since it was received and once you hear it, you'll become hooked as well.

So, if you have been looking for a new band that carries the hard rock and heavy metal flame into a new generation, look no further, RED TIGER is it. Congrats RED TIGER, Alive...And Still Believing has just made my Top Ten list for 2014 releases!

4.9 Out Of 5.0


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