“Not folk enough for folk and not punk enough for punk.” These are the words we’ve seen used to describe Sledding With Tigers, who just released a new album at a name-your-own-price rate on their website. Despite finding themselves in genre limbo, the band’s latest offering, A Necessary Bummer, manages to capture the honesty that makes both punk and folk such appealing genres. The ten-track debut album is a declaration, an admission, a confession and an apology told through the eyes of lead singer and songwriter, Dan Faughnder. If you like Family of the Year, You Won’t or just an honest offering from some dudes in San Diego, then this one’s for you.
As melodic violin solos organically join with the band’s banjo-plucking compositions, Faughnder (un)apologetically lays his heart out for all to see. Whether they’re tackling physical insecurities, wrestling with seemingly unjustified sadness or pondering bleak loneliness, Sledding With Tigers always seems to approach each song from a place of honesty. Sometimes that honesty means admitting that they’re not being completely honest. It’s as complicated as melancholia. The band puts it best when they collectively announce that they “hate this feeling but [they] don’t hate that [they’re] feeling it.” So many feels. All the feels.
Despite it’s honest lyrics and serious subject matter, the acoustic-driven album doesn’t take itself too seriously. One look at the album’s track titles makes it clear that these guys are good for a laugh or two. From “The Devil and a California Burrito are Raging Inside Me,” (an irreverently funny nod to the band Brand New) all the way to “I Got The Blues Macaroni And Cheese” (Kraft, homie) the band captures the very essence of life. It’s funny, sad, hard and impossibly confusing at times.
Each folky track gets its share of Faughnder’s punkish vocals and the band’s honest lyrics. Tracks like “Oh, Right. Damn It.” make this album both admirable and endearing. By discussing the trivial things in life that seem to (for me, at least) evoke some of the heaviest, hardest emotions and thoughts, A Necessary Bummer asks the hardest questions and poses possible, hopeful answers. It’s hard not to take something away from this album. Whether that something is a solid laugh at the witty track titles, a few finger snapping and toe tapping moments or a reflective moment to consider “what the hell is okay,” one thing is certain… this album is certainly safer and probably better for you than actually sledding with tigers.
Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.