Design, as a concept, plays heavily into Brooklyn’s post-hardcore outfit Tiergarten. Fresh on the scene with a new EP, we see the first reference to a greater blueprint in their title, Magnificent Desolation—a nod to astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s description of space as he stood on the moon. Then we move into their tracks, whose influences flutter between the angst of '90s-era, plaid-clad alternative musicians, early-2000s space-age pop, and resurgent punk rock.
“Architect” is an obvious opener title for a band who, down to their very name, pay close attention to our concrete surroundings and play with the negative space that surrounds them. But it’s a track with a more specific story than that would imply, indulging Tiergarten’s darker inclinations by focusing on the infamous Robert Durst (whose surname is stamped on various New York skyscrapers, and whose full name has caught public attention for a slew of suspicious murders and disappearances). "Architect" is marked by deep, ominous drumming and different intervals of quick-climbing guitar riffs, and frontman Alex von Klemper’s vocals are throaty and jaded throughout. “Decimation calls … Intrusion becomes a game,” he sings, slyly referencing the irony, perhaps, in how an architect can cause the lives around him to crumble.
"Paradigm" follows "Architect"’s lead with its foreboding tone. Guitars seem to stretch towards the precipice of our atmosphere, as the band crafts a full and potentially explosive sound. “I’m just always going to be this way,” von Klemper lightly delivers, and in brief moments, he even breaks from his trademark indifferent keel. The song ends in a flatline, as if Tiergarten’s members simultaneously unplugged, prolonging the high pitch of an unfinished note. They certainly have a punk vibe, but one that lingers beneath the surface, never reaching that familiar realm of expletives and confrontational shrieking.
Magnificent Desolation may have darker shades, but it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s enticing, a new structure of post-punk-psych (etc., etc.) for us to interact with—a mecca, if you will, just like the band’s namesake.