A pretty much unanimous indifference meant that a rebirth was probably the best option for Chelmsford’s The Hype Theory, giving them a chance to start afresh and rejuvenate themselves for another crack at the whip. But as debut EP Human shows, this isn’t actually such a huge change after all.

Musically, changes have definitely been made, but they seem incredibly mild. The Hype Theory’s gutsy pop-punk has been replaced by a much more streamlined rock sound, and while there’s been a widening of scope, it’s hard to avoid that there are definitely similarities still there. It doesn’t make their rebrand redundant by any means, but it’s certainly baffling as to why such changes have actually been made, considering in particular the fact that Human now sees them attempting to set up camp in a genre that is becoming more and more saturated by the day.

But looking at the bigger picture, Human‘s six songs are undoubtedly the finest that this band have written regardless of what guise they’re under. Lucky Ones and Miracle don’t stray from their radio-friendly template but lose none of their impact because of it, while Future takes a much more understated approach, underpinning swirling melodrama with Katy Jackson’s vocal passion for the EP’s finest moment. Fire rounds things off on a bit of a bum note with its relatively uninspired plod, but even that fits in with Tigress’s vision of what they want to achieve – there’s no doubt that these songs would see Tigress build a formidable career, both live and on record.

And that’s why the actual physical construction on the EP remains so consistently frustrating. There are certainly glimpses of this band breaking out from the rigidly-defined mould that are peppered throughout Human, but there’s always a reversion back to the nuts and bolts of Britrock that hold them back from hitting true greatness. But for now at least, Human is a solid start for this new phase in Tigress’s career, and is an ample foundation to build on.

6/10

For fans of: Young Guns, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Blitz Kids
Words by Luke Nuttall

‘Human’ by Tigress is out now on LAB Records.

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