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The Love Grenades – Tigers in the Fire – Rating: B

Submitted by on July 14, 2009 – 11:59 AMNo Comment
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Love Grenades2Singer/songwriter Elizabeth Wight has been seducing audiences in some of the hottest clubs in Los Angeles in her new musical incarnation, The Love Grenades.  Though she is more than a pout and a sultry come-hither voice, Wight is moving into new territory exploring an unusual mix of techno-pop, Italian disco, and German electronica. This is a big step away from her more familiar punk endeavors that combined punk and bossanova or straight out garage grunge, usually with a drum machine and bass.  Wight posted her work on Myspace and soon drew the attention of singer/songwriter Sam Sparro and eventually his producer, Jesse Rogg, who offered to release her EP, Tigers in the Fire, on his own label, Modus Vivendi.

Tigers in the Fire is a six-song CD filled with danceable tunes with infectious techno beats with Wight’s voice soaring over some tunes or hanging a heavy allure with others.  Four of the tunes are different variants of her title song, “Tigers in the Fire,” which is an odd choice to begin with. But it serves as window into Wight’s willingness to collaborate with others and revision her own material.

The first version is a radio friendly mix produced by Dave Darling that showcases Wight’s lyrical message. The second, subtitled “Martin’s Death at the Disco,” was remixed and interpreted by Martin Peter, producing a European electronically touched rendering with a drum solo. The third, subtitled “Wayfarer Mix,” is an extremely danceable version, remixed by Quirin Schwanck, allowing Wight’s vocals to carry the song.  The final version of “Tigers in the Fire” is subtitled “Disco Damage” and is remixed by Laura Fares, Kristin Neely.  This version adds a British vocal overdub in counterpoint to Wight’s voice.

Each of these versions stresses certain parts of Wight’s lyics and adds different instrumentation and layers of sound.

lovegrenades3The lyrics, which tout, “I can do anything that I like/I can screw anyone that’s nice/then walk away,” reflect Wight’s interest in women’s empowerment and show her rootedness in Women’s Studies for which she earned a degree. But the song isn’t militant, though it could lean in that direction. Instead, it is very playful, stating: “My new world is untamed/I kiss boys and drink champagne/I’m so glad I set me free/to do whatever I please.” Thus, Wight combines feminism with the vamp.

The final two selections also carry deeper messages. “Off to Sea,” remixed by Julian Brody, is a Brazilian techno number that showcases Wight’s musical versatility because she plays all of the instruments on the track. The song itself is a playful look at non-commitment as Wight sings: “Whoa, it’s a pirate’s life ain’t nothing else for me/Just stealing hearts and shooting stars and shoving off to sea.”  That’s quite an about face for a woman, but it may reflect the freedoms young women have today. And, it’s done with as much fun as any age-old sea shanty about having a girl in every port.

The final cut, “Young Lovers,” which is remixed by Sam Sparro, was inspired by 1930s films, Wight admits, about young, ill-fated lovers.  But it has a very modern touch.

Though Wight has said that she misses the spontaneity of her early punk band, she has created another kind of spontaneity through her current band. When The Love Grenades plays live, Wight uses a revolving company of different musicians to back her.  One constant bandmate is Jim Bowers, who plays guitar.

The Love Grenades recently filmed a music video for “Young Lovers,” which was directed by Steve Lee. The film has been making the rounds of independent film festivals across the country, including the No Exit Music Video Festival in New York and the Independent Film Festival in California, and coming away with several awards.

As innovative and experimental as Tigers in the Fire is, it is a very listenable CD with clever lyrics, seductive yet playful vocals, and a very definite dance beat.

sam-adams-blackberry-witbier-300x225Beer Pairing:  Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier, a blend of orange, coriander, and blackberry, producing a brew that is both sweet and tart