Rick Shaier is the mustachioed, polyester shorts-wearing drummer of Phoenix band Miniature Tigers. He’s also the brains behind Alvin Band, a solo project he’s been working on for the past five years. On Sept. 22, his work will see a national release with the debut album Mantis Preying coming out on Intelligent Noise Records.
Part of the official press release reads thusly: “Rick holed up in a friend’s bathroom with a microphone and a Powerbook and went to town. The end result is the 9 song ‘vocal composition’ coined ‘Mantis Preying.’ … Bjork’s ‘Medulla’ served as the predominant inspiration behind Rick’s writing and layering vocals without the use of instruments.”
A more recent comparison for the work – at least from the small bits I’ve heard – would fall under the Animal Collective/Panda Bear school of vocal harmonizing. If you’ve seen Miniature Tigers in the past year or so, chances are you’ve heard an Alvin Band song. The last time I saw them they opened with Glowing Tree (stream it at MySpace).
The Mantis Preying release will include a six-song bonus EP called Lady Portrait, which Schaier had made available as a free download via MySpace a few months ago.