Tigertown Pictures finds Comet Gain in a nascent, formative stage (following the departure of most of the original line-up a year earlier), suggesting their later bold strokes but not quite there. Songs and themes that they would later nail down appear here ("Jack Nance Rising," "Germ Of Youth/Ghosts Of Sulphate"), as does a surfeit of youthful idealism and mic-spitting, heart-on-sleeve energy. A lot of the shortcomings of Tigertown Pictures could easily be chalked up to the mix, with the insistent guitar pushing everything else backward -- and going along with that argument, T.P. is in fact another fine album in the Comet Gain mold: impassioned, informed, a late-night liaison between innocence and experience.
Tigertown Pictures continues the Comet Gain mythos of record-collecting music obsessives driven to make music, art-as-politics, pop music as salvation. In that regard, it works, even though it is really just a hint of things yet to come from this excellent British collective. On its own, it's a bit loose, even deliberately so, to stand as more than a stepping stone on the way to greater things. Those looking for a starting point with Comet Gain might want to start with the Broken Record Prayers collection of singles, which gives an excellent cross-section of their bewitching powers.