Opening with ‘Habanera’, The Tiger Club’s Mephisto Island is a loungey, sprawling set of instrumental tunes that give the impression that the tongue is firmly in its cheek.
With its latin guitars and shuffling percussion, things start out with a real sense of fun. ‘Showdown At Mezcal Flats’ conjures up the impression of a spaghetti western, making it the perfect music for a Tarantino film, while ‘GreenGoddess’ slips back into more of a cha-cha groove, its cheerful piano notes ringing out calling people to dance. ‘Apeliotes’ turns towards somewhat darker territory, keeping things intriguing the whole time, always with an undercurrent of danger running throughout. Overall, Mephisto Island is simply packed to the brim with fun tunes – ‘Lemon Zest’ positively fizzes with effervescence, while ‘Entrance Of The Tigers’ is a real show stopper of a tune, with its screaming guitars and parping brass. Across the album, there is plenty to discover in terms of variety and aesthetic, despite it staying more or less true to the lounge style throughout. ‘Behind The 7th Veil’ paints a rich and heady ambience of an exotic kind, while ‘Order Of The Seeing Eye’ has glimmers of marching band tones going on. Overall, it’s probably fair to say that Mephisto Island is a pretty niche album, but that doesn’t mean it can’t put a smile on your face, and it is without a doubt the ideal soundtrack to your next cocktail party.