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ACL Fest artist spotlight: Miniature Tigers

Eric Webb
ewebb@statesman.com

It’s coming: Austin City Limits Music Festival takes over Zilker Park Oct. 3-5 and 10-12. Leading up to the fest, we’ll shine the spotlight on some of the artists you might not have heard of in this year’s lineup.

Artist: Minature Tigers

From: New York, N.Y.

Online:miniaturetigers.com

At the fest: Sunday, 1-1:40 p.m., both weekends on Austin Ventures Stage

About the artist

Synth-ish indie dreamers Miniature Tigers named their 2012 album “Mia Pharaoh.” They named their most recent album, released earlier this year, “Cruel Runnings.” Name one good reason not to support a band that does things like that.

The New Yorkers now have four full-length albums under their belts, and not one of them sounds exactly like another. Their first, “Tell It To the Volcano,” is guitar-heavy with a twee bent; their second, “Fortress,” is a little rougher around the edges, with some garage rock scuzz thrown in the mix; and the aforementioned electro-drenched “Mia Pharaoh” is full of faux-80s workout video vibes and winking sleaziness.

For “Cruel Runnings,” Miniature Tigers vocalist Charlie Brand said he went for a nostalgia factor, citing Weezer’s Blue Album as a touchstone. The first single, “Swimming Pool Blues,” definitely shies away from the ironic jazzercise-cool of “Mia Pharaoh” in favor of big-hearted hooks and singalong refrains; the shadow of Phoenix’s “Bankrupt!” looms large.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrUrv7CBbN4

But overall, there’s less Rivers Cuomo apparent in the shoulderpad synth of new tracks like “Oblivious” than there was in 2008’s Survivor-aping “Cannibal Queen.” The early afternoon ACL set should be a pleasant enough hangover cure for Saturday night partiers shuffling back into Zilker.

Could share a bill with: Ra Ra Riot, Animal Kingdom, The Format, Phoenix