Tiger Army's Nick 13 has been at it a dozen years. And while the upright bassist and drummer behind him change with virtually every album, his trio's psychobilly sound never wavers. Inspired as much by Social Distortion as the Misfits and Cramps, the Los Angeles trio cuts its grease with Lookout-inspired pop punk. Sure, Nick 13 wrings a full-bodied twang from his six-string, but the band's rhythms race more than swing.
One can imagine Nick eventually following Mike Ness' lead. Like the Social D frontman, who started dipping into country several years back, Nick possesses a fine baritone that would really shine, were it not mired in Tiger Army's horror-flick fetish.
Interestingly enough, Nick just might be experiencing psychobilly fatigue. After all this time, Tiger Army broadens its palette on this summer's Music From Regions Beyond, going for a bigger, slicker sound that samples New Order-style new wave and even attempts some aching alt-country. The results are mixed, but the effort is welcome. Nick 13's talent is apparent, but doesn't always come through.