TANG, Central Oregon’s newest math-heavy export, find themselves aptly named on their newest EP, Tiny Daniel.
The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. But sometimes, water just doesn’t do it for you. Try as you might, you just can’t bring yourself to bring that cup of clear liquid to your lips. You need something better than water, something a little easier on the tastebuds to see you through this moment.
Something like TANG.
Sidestepping the more obvious jazz influences of their previous output, TANG opts for an almost Polyphia type approach on Tiny Daniel, with prog and fusion taking greater precedence in both the guitar tone and overall groove throughout. This perhaps largely due to the addition of second-guitarist Justin Graham, who also plays a mean horn on top to his noodle-y duties.
For those concerned with TANG’s overall nutritional value, fear not: while plentiful in easy to digest guitar melodies, the group’s sparse rhythm section and perfectly placed horn interludes make for a well rounded and at times even refreshing experience, especially compared to it’s powdered predecessor.
Not into juice metaphors? Too young to recall the glory of orange juice powered orangutans exploring the galaxy? Well, think early Chon meets T.R.A.M., but driven by a profound connection to draft-style beer and semi-formal attire.
TANG’s proggy and proficient licks are occasionally reminiscent of Sithu Aye as well, but with two guitarists sharing the limelight rather than one. Just when the smoky smooth jazz vibrations threaten to overwhelm you, some nimble bass work brings you back to the party, and deftly avoids any true tropes of dad rock.
The most exciting thing about TANG, on this EP and otherwise, is the unique choices they make when it comes to their phrasing. Even when treading the familiar shred territory, the skill and precision displayed between the lines are still pretty remarkable. One should have little doubt that the more the band’s sound becomes infused with genuine emotion, their listener’s hearts, as well as their faces, will have no choice but to melt.
Tiny Daniel is a crunchy and satisfying treat for prog and math rock fans alike, with fantastic production and musicianship at every turn. Check out the rest of their discography here.