Mark Robinson, vocals, guitar
James Baluyut, synthesizers, drum machines
Richard Baluyut, vocals on 8, lead guitar on 10
Fontaine Toups, vocals on 2, 7, 11
PRODUCED AND RECORDED BY
on Beverly Road, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Mark Robinson, Teen-Beat Graphica
From the back cover of the PACKAGE:
"Mark Robinson presents us with a brand new collection of songs made with 2 guitars and his very own human voice, entitled Tiger Banana. This is his first proper solo album. His name may sound familiar. Mark has performed with musical troupes such as Unrest, Air Miami, & Flin Flon. With Tiger Banana, he has pulled a veritable rabbit out of his so-called size 8 and 1/2 hat. Voila!"
Pat "Patrick Riley" Ramos
This album is numbered 307 and was released 9 months before number 297 (Mark Robinson's Canada's Green Highways album). This was deliberate (Canada's Green Highways had not yet been planned or recorded at the time of 307's recording).
"Mark Robinson's last band, Flin Flon, was his first major stylistic change in about 8 or 9 years, trying a more bass-centric, post-punk sound. While both of Flin Flon's records were quite good, Robinson was underused in that band, serving mainly as frontman, his guitar work (by design) never fully utilized. His new solo album, Tiger Banana, fills that void quite nicely as most of the music here is just electric guitar and Robinson's smooth, buttery vocals.
Any of Robinson's fans who were put off by Flin Flon will adore Tiger Banana. However, the record is not a true return to form for Robinson as the music here is somewhat straightforward and quite a bit more subdued than his previous bands. This is not infectious pop that hooks the listener during his first listen to the song; these are delicate, soft melodies that need time in order to ingrain themselves into the subconscious.
This album is the first in Teenbeat's Warm Series, a series of limited edition CDs that doesn't seem to have any point or theme to it other than being limited edition and having the artwork be a tribute to Teenbeat's back catalog. Or perhaps the series does have a "point," as its title, "Warm," is a good description of the music here as the main components to the sound have all edges neatly rounded off for utmost ease of listening. If items other than guitar and voice are used, they are done so sparingly--a simple conga beat, a few organ whole notes, etc.
While most of the album is simple, warm pop music, Robinson does include two rockers. The first doesn't start off that way, using guests Versus who appear several times on the album to add vocal harmony. "Starfighter" starts off sounding like much of the rest of Tiger Banana with Robinson and Versus' Fontaine Toups singing over quiet guitars. After Richard Balayut adds a spoken vocal portion, the song gets a bit more aggressive, turning the song into something much like a Versus song. "Putting Up Good Numbers," on the other hand, is a chugging anthem from start to finish.
Tiger Banana is far from Robinson's best work. The sound is bare but warm, and the music is straightforward. His lyrics are interesting but not outstanding, the veiled sexual references either more thickly veiled or totally not about sex at all. Still, as most pop seems to get more grating with each listen, this is decent pop music. It seems to only become more endearing."
- Jim Steed, Fake Jazz
"I got nothing to say really...except I just listened to my LP of this and thought, man, it's too bad this is such an unknown gem, so I should go write a review of appreciation on Amazon. If you like Unrest, this is probably the best offshoot, and I'm including Grenadine and Air Miami, which are better known, but not as simple and perfect. This was a great live show, too. Wish I had an Olympic Death Squad t-shirt."
- Andy Davis, Amazon
October 9, 2000
38 minutes, 31 seconds
THE WARM SERIES
This is the first release
in Teen-Beat's The WARM Series.
6-panel WARM Series digipak with clear transparent tray.
yellow and blue.
4.25" x 6" postcard scored twice (one side colour and one side black and white).
Wrap card printed by
Modern Postcard, California.
and CD pressed by