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Tiger På Spring (Denmark) – Into the Light (single/track from forthcoming album)

I had a choice tonight between this song from a Danish ‘party punk’ band (how many versions of punk can there be?) and one from an experimental rap-punk (there’s another one you see) band from the Faroe Islands, which the erudite readers of NMC will know is a semi-autonomous Danish dependency.

I’ve often remarked on the quality (and volume) of music coming out of the Faroes but rap-punk couldn’t convince me so we turn instead to Tiger På Spring (Tiger on the Leap), from the Funen Island of Denmark where Odense is the main city and a song about an infamous American serial killer (of which there have been many), namely ‘The Golden State Killer’.

TGSK is (he’s still going although I reckon he’s probably a permanent fixture on Death Row), Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. and he has been, inter alia, a serial killer, rapist, burglar, and peeping tom, as well as a former police officer (!)

He committed at least 13 murders, 51 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California between 1974 and 1986. He committed so many crimes in fact that he spawned different nicknames in the press, including the East Area Rapist, the Vasilia Ransacker (who sounds like a rapper), the Night Stalker and later the Original Night Stalker, to differentiate him from another serial killer, Richard Ramirez, who carried the same business card, before it became evident that they were committed by the same person.

Only in California.

Quite what the attraction of this character is I really don’t know. It isn’t as if Scandi-Noir hasn’t spread to Denmark, what with The Killing, The Bridge, Borden, the Those Who Kill series, The Investigation, Trom (Faroes!) and the rest.

It looks as if it is his longevity (he wasn’t arrested and charged until 2018) his “bestial confessions” and his weird modus operandi, which included making phone calls and writing poems about his crimes, both in advance of doing them, which might have been the bait here.

Tiger På Spring describes DeAngelo as being “with manic energy” and that energy finds its way into the song in spades. ‘Epic’ is a fair description.

The trick with a song like this, which is effectively about any one of his murders (“I take a life so rapid/When I go hunting in the wild”), is to catch the essence of it, and they certainly do so. Also, to create a vague image of mayhem in the listeners’ mind.

In my case I was immediately taken to the movie The Silence of the Lambs, and to two scenes. Firstly, the one where the Senator’s daughter is being held hostage in a basement and is trying to entice Buffalo Bill’s lap dog, Precious, over the edge while he’s doing his cross dressing thing upstairs to a rock song. This could have been the song.

Secondly, the chorus line, “When you stare into the night”, which is delivered alongside an almighty couple of synthesiser chords and a shrieking guitar which encapsulates the shower stabbing scene in Psycho as well as anything I can imagine.

Or which, alternately, could apply when the light suddenly and incongruously comes on just as Bill, who has been stalking Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs with night vision glasses in a totally dark room, is about to add her to his victim list, but which gives her the momentary advantage to “blow him away”.

If you reckon I’m banging on a little too much about another medium here – the silver screen – bear with me because as I’ve often said, the ability to invoke this kind of imagery in this kind of song is the Acid Test. And Tiger På Spring passes that test, summa cum laude.

And on top of all that, they’ve managed to find a tune, and a pretty memorable one at that.

The single is the second from their forthcoming debut album (10th May), and follows the earlier ‘Violent Heart’.

Tiger På Spring performs regularly in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and will play the SPOT Festival this year, also in May.

Incidentally, the translation I used of the band’s name came courtesy of our old friend Mr Google. It can also be translated as Tiger Springer, or Crouching Tiger (which is mentioned in the lyrics) and as in the 2000 Ang Lee film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

I don’t know if, or to what extent, the film is an influence on them generally but I’m sure we’ll find out in the fullness of time.

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