Think of them as the masters of ambient metal. The Orb of emo. Innovators of virtually vocal-free indie rock. Some call it math rock, but I couldn’t get good Will Hunting on the phone in time for this review, so I have no idea what the hell that means. You could spank its ass and call it Sally if you wanted, but By the End of Tonight (that’s the band’s name folks) has certainly done more with just two guitars, a bass and a child’s drum kit than most acts could hope to accomplish in a lifetime.
Okay, so I’m overstepping the boundaries of reality here just a tad, but in all honesty A Tribute To Tigers is a compelling adventure into a world where freeform jam sessions become orchestrated art. Although erratic and disjointed on occasion, the five epics that make up By the End of Tonight’s latest disc weave a fairly fluid tapestry of sound in much the same way that electronic artists construct trance-inducing tracks.
After a couple of listens, you begin to understand how the near-absence of vocals is highly appropriate, to the point where you become convinced that any dominant lyric would be more of a distraction than an enhancement. These aren’t instrumental tracks in the way you would typically think of such songs.
Quite clearly, the bipolar guitar play offers as much melody as your corner store singer would, switching without notice from chorus-heavy arpeggios to larger-than-life power chords that ring out for eternity. Sure, if you’ve listened to enough Sparta, you can find a spot or two where vocals would be wholly appropriate, but by and large By the End of Tonight is succeeding (at least on disc) with its unrivaled unconventional approach.