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Still a cub, Tiger Tiger earning its stripes

Tiger Tiger has only been playing Atlanta-area stages since October, but guitarist/vocalist Buffi Aguero already has learned a valuable lesson in how not to treat opening acts.

Last month, the band opened for legendary post-punk outfit the Fall at the Echo Lounge, and everyone was "super nice," says Aguero, "except Mark E. Smith, who's notoriously a big jackass. None of us were allowed backstage. He was just a total rock star."

Judging from the group's modest (but rising) fan base, Tiger Tiger — Aguero, guitarist/saxophonist Shane Pringle, organist Sam Leyja, bassist/cellist Deisha Oliver and drummer Mike Poteet — shouldn't resign itself to sharing stages with well-known punk-rock egos. The quintet's eclectic, amorphous sound — roaring one minute, soaring the next — is given to the kind of dynamic shifts in style that cause crowds to take notice.

The mixture "is very unique," Aguero says, acknowledging echoes of Richard Hell and the Stilettos. Others pick out strains of Cursive or even the poetic imagery of Leonard Cohen. "We can go from being a rock band to doing noisy, weird stuff really easily. It gives us a breadth that a normal rock band wouldn't have."

Having already cobbled together a four-song demo, the nascent outfit is in the process of shopping for a label to help them record a full album. Once a deal is secured, gathering material should be no problem.

"This is a super-easy project to write songs for, because everybody is so participatory," says Aguero. "It's really easy to bring in even just a half-baked idea and flesh it out. It's still real fun and new, like a first date."

Tiger Tiger plays Sat., May 8, at Art Farm. $5.