The surprise departure of three-fifths of Tigers Jaw, right as the band and the controversially labelled ’emo revival’ it was associated with rose to new levels of success, left many wanting more. For those not fully satisfied by the more polished direction the band continued in or the goth boi clique adventures of former co-vocalist/guitarist Adam McIlwee in Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, new project Pay For Pain, which reunites the departed members, will likely quench a desire for the classic Tigers Jaw lineup’s scrappy indie-emo sound.
Reuniting McIlwee with Dennis Mishko and Pat Brier, who had stuck closer to the early Tigers Jaw sound playing in Three Man Cannon, Pay For Pain’s first single “Fallen Angel” welcomes back the warm yet jangling sound of moody basements across the Midwest.
“I think it’s a bit of a combination of all our current and past projects, but we didn’t really talk about what kind of band it would be,” McIlwee says. “We just started playing and writing, and anything goes. It’s still guitar-driven, but maybe more influenced by ‘60s and ‘70s rock music than anything we’ve done before.”
Perhaps more so than any of the members’ other previous releases, “Fallen Angel” recalls Tigers Jaw splits with The Sidekicks and Tiny Empires released between Two Worlds and Charmer, the album completed partially with the classic lineup and finished as a two-piece. The one-off Tigers Jaw single “Gypsy,” a Fleetwood Mac cover, also comes to mind.
“Fallen Angel” comes from Pay For Pain’s self-titled debut EP, due June 5 via Dark Medicine. The EP splits vocal duties between McIlwee and Mishko, who also covers bass, with Brier on drums. The six songs were recorded live with Matt Schimelfenig (Three Man Cannon, Gladie, Queen Jesus) at The Bunk in Henryville, Pennsylvania.
Pre-order the Pay For Pain 12″ EP here and see a full tracklist below.
Pay For Pain EP
1. Fallen Angel
2. New York
4. You Take Command Of My Heart
5. When I Was 14
6. Until I Walk Through The Flames