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  • Jonathan Widran

JUAN TIGRE, The Dream Catcher

You’ve just gotta love a multi-talented artist who starts a disc with a Barry White like spoken baritone talking about tranquility, peace and love and speaks in French (“Through the Vines”), sings later in bright and rollicking, harmony laden Spanish with mariachi horns (“Mas”) and wraps perhaps the wildest 25 musical minutes you’ll ever experience reflecting on a precious “Memoria” with dreamy vocals and floating atmospheres. All the while infused by its New Orleans based creator/bandleader guitarist/vocalist John Maestas) with iconic New Mexico desert imagery and other folkloric touches of the Southwest.

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky and joyfully schizo sonic world of Juan Tigre, whose new album The Dream Catcher is not simply an alt rock band led by New Orleans John Maestras, but a portal to a multi-faceted, multi-media dimension. Everything starts with his Hendrix like distorted guitar psychedelia, which blazes with abandon over funky synth dance vibes (on the irresistible sonic universe of “The Dream Catcher”) as effortlessly as it blazes grunge/death metal style along with the ominous, eerie vocals of “In These Veins”).

Along with his bandmates – including Alfred Jordan (drums/vocals), Stephen Lands (trumpet/vocals), Max Moran (bass/vocals) and Shea Pierre (keys), he creates a diverse, video game styled swirling landscape, which cranks up to pretty insane levels on the propulsive “In these Veins” yet finds moments of tender, lighthearted and less ear splitting soul on “Gracia.”

In a year where everyone seeking escape from Coronavirus fears and news with Netflix’s crazy “Tiger King,” Juan Tigre’s got more of the fierce feline magic – which blissfully extends to being the protagonist of the multi-media graphic novel “The 100% Believable Adventure of one Juan Tigre.” In those pages, as in your bursting ear drums, we visit a fictional world where Juan travels to exotic foreign lands in search of keys that have the power to unlock the secrets to his mysterious past.

He gets into trouble – paralleled via the more chaotic elements of the music – but also has a blast along the way, just as openminded, guitar and soundscape loving listeners are bound to do with this wildly original project. Oh and just to keep a little tongue in cheek humor flowing, the album is released on the artist’s indie label called Bubble Bath Records. You’ll be thinking of relaxing in one after the wild but totally worth it ride aboard The Dream Catcher express.

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