Yesterday, the highly regarded Philadelphia/Scranton based emo band Tigers Jaw announced that they would be calling it quits. The announcement was posted on the band’s tumblr page by Brianna Collins, who plays keyboards. Reasons as far as why the band is breaking up is pretty obscure, simply saying, “After our show in Scranton two weeks ago, Adam, Pat, and Dennis let Ben and I know that for personal reasons they are unable to do Tigers Jaw anymore”. It goes on to say that the band members’ declaration they did not desire to continue being the band was a relative shock, but they are all on good terms.
Tigers Jaw formed in 2005. The band began its formation in Scranton, PA and since their conception, some members have moved to Philadelphia. Primarily an emo/indie band, Tigers Jaw is known for their raw vocals, shimmering harmonies, and somber, as well as uplifting melodies. Their debut album, Belongs to the Dead was released in 2006, but it wasn’t until their self titled album that they gained the immense fan base they have now. Released in 2008 on Prison Jazz Records (later being re-released on Run for Cover Records in 2010), their self titled was a beautiful combination of driving guitar parts, as well as morose lyrics and had many of the iconic songs fans think of when they hear Tigers Jaw such as “The Sun”, “I Saw Water”, and “Plane Vs Tank Vs Submarine”.
The record established Tigers Jaw as a force of emo to be reckoned with because of their intelligent lyricism and ability to switch your mood from optimistic, to a crippling form of sad. After their self titled, the band continued their success with a number of catchy songs such as the fan favorite Spirit Desire seven inch. In 2010, Tigers Jaw released their latest, and final, releases being their full length Two Worlds and a split with Balance and Composure.
For those who are sad to the point of obliteration, let this be a ray of sun: Tigers Jaw’s tour in the US spanning the months of May and June will not be cancelled. For those who live in the UK, unfortunately your feelings of dismay will have to soldier on until they can pass into obscurity, as the band informed fans on their tumblr that they will be cancelling their dates in the UK. In terms of future releases, or at least one final release before they are officially done…that is uncertain. There has been no information, or none that I am aware of, which points to any plans for a last release. Which also goes for future musical endeavors. The last post on the band’s tumblr and facebook was their news on breaking up, no details as to whether any of the band members will continue on into new bands, just that Ben and Brianna (guitar/vocals and keyboard/vocals respectively) will be playing their final tour with a full band arrangement.
They entered our hearts with their creative and refreshing style of punk which made us feel emotions we may have thought we never had, or reacquainted with feelings that have long since been distant memories. It is almost unbelievable Tigers Jaw is breaking up considering the lengthy time they have been writing music, and it’s painful to see such a talented band leave. But (cue uplifting music at the end of the John Cusack movie we have watched a million times by ourselves) their leaving will not be handled bitterly. They have allowed fans to enjoy their music for eight long years and have understand why we love this music so much. Because of the emotion; the ability to capture a feeling within a single chord, or group vocal; the chance to relate and feel a connection; and for the simple, but most important reason, because we love the music. Tigers Jaw has made a name for themselves within the emo scene, especially the Scranton and Philadelphia music scene, and will not be forgotten. Yes, the pain of their breaking up will be around for a while, but eventually there will be a time in the future, no matter if it is a near or distant future, when you’re listening to your iPod on shuffle and on comes Tigers Jaw. Maybe, just maybe, after the song plays you will finally be able to say with a smile, “I felt better.”