TYGERS OF PAN TANG – Noises From The Cathouse (Angel Air)
Originally released in 2003, ‘Noises From The Cathouse’ was the second post-reformation album by Whitley Bay’s finest. Original members Jess Cox and Robb Weir had put together an ersatz band for a one-off show at Wacken in 1999 – immortalised later on the cunningly-titled album ‘Live At Wacken’ – and with Cox out of the picture for a second time Weir put together a new Tygers for a new century, with Deano joining him on guitars, Brian West on bass, Craig Ellis on drums and Tony Liddell replacing Cox behind the mike stand. The result of a trip to the studios was 2001’s ‘Mystical’, and two years and one vocalist later ‘Noises From The Cathouse’ appeared on Communiqué Records, with Richie Wicks now fronting the band. Clocking in at 62 minutes for just ten songs, the album featured some of the most intriguing and exciting music the band had recorded, taking its cue more from the pseudo-progressive likes of ‘Slave To Freedom’ and ‘Insanity’ from debut album ‘Wild Cat’ than the later, more chart-friendly, four-minute formulaic material like ‘Rendez-Vous’ or ‘Paris By Air’. It also re-united the Tygers (albeit in a vastly different form) with mastermind Chris Tsangarides, the man who’d produced both ‘Wild Cat’ and its follow-up ‘Spellbound’. But despite is pedigree, these ‘Noises…’ didn’t resound that widely and the album soon vanished into obscurity, taking with it the hopes of the band themselves who wouldn’t be heard from for another five years.
Fast-forward thirteen years and ‘Noises…’ has now been given a new lease of life via Angel Air. The revamped album features new artwork, a shuffled running order that redefines the dynamism of the original ten songs, and three bonus tracks which take the running time up to a hefty 75 minutes. The material certainly hasn’t lost its bite over the intervening years, and songs like the huge, sprawling ‘Master Of Illusion’ is just one example of the band’s ability to create a grandiose metal epic, while the haunting but power chord laden ‘Cybernation’ is as dystopian as its title suggests.
The bonus tracks were recorded in 2004 and feature album cut ‘Highspeed Highway Superman (Two Wheeled Version)’ alongside the debut album classic ‘Slave To Freedom’ and debut single classic ‘Don’t Touch Me There’. Although not exactly essential (and purists might indeed sniff at the stylistic tweaks in ‘Don’t Touch Me There’), they do round off a rather exciting re-issue rather nicely.
© John Tucker January 2016