Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Tiny Moving Parts
Written by: TL on 31/05/2016 19:40:03
The first Rockfreaks.net heard of Tiny Moving Parts was when we stumbled in on a 25 minute Bruce Springsteen cover set late in the evening at FEST in Gainesville one year, where pretty much everything and everyone near the stage were soaked in PBR and the finer points of The Boss' hits were definitely compromised in favour of excited shouting along to some beloved classics. Yet while they didn't play a note of their own music, this set somehow gave a pretty fair impression of what to expect of Tiny Moving Parts' newest record "Celebrate".
Not that it sounds anything like Bruce Springsteen, nope, TMP are not a new Gaslight Anthem or such, but they are in many ways a type of bands you've had the opportunity to hear the likes of before if you've been following the American underground scene; all noodly guitars, freely winding songwriting and manically excited yelling. In fact "Celebrate" is an extremely obvious title for an album that sounds tailor-made for the kind of bar/basement concerts where the more sentimental segment of your local punk rock scene pile on top of each other in front of the stage to get as close as possible to the band while shouting their words back. That and there's a weird sense of elation about it, as singer Dylan Mattheisen sings and yelps in the border area barely short of actual screaming, as if he's simultaneous filled with desperation and anxiety, yet finds a certain bubbling happiness in sharing the songs with his listeners - which figures likely to be exactly what the band is going for in the live setting.
That's cool, but what "Celebrate" has that a lot of similar prior records that we've heard from colleagues and countrymen of the Minnesota trio have not, is a much more consistent serving of catchiness; to the point in fact, where hooks you can imagine yourself shouting are almost a bit too frequent. Where other records of similar ilk may have haphazardly stumbled into offering an impactful song or three, "Celebrate" feels more refined, like a rollercoaster ride built for maximum speed and a constant feeling of weightlessness in your stomach as you rocket and plunge from one curve or drop to the next. It really does not take its listener's attention for granted, serving up one high strung anthemic part after the next.
That's a commendable approach, but the downside is that it does not, - still metaphorically speaking - leave much time to take a breath and enjoy the scenery. There are brief mellow patches scattered around these songs, sure, but they clearly serve mainly as launch pads for the next bit of fireworks that TMP intend to set off in your ears. And if you let yourself be enticed by how exciting it sounds at a glance, really sitting down and paying attention to the record will feel a bit weird, because it doesn't really offer that sense of depth underneath. It gets to feeling like the music doesn't explore the feelings of being burdened, only the relief part of the matter, which inevitably fortifies the impression that this record will have an even greater impact live than in your headphones.
That being said, it is catchy, and as alluded to it is contagious in its excited moods. Particularly the first half of the album is a joyride to listen through, arguably peaking with "Birdhouse", which builds up with some of solid lyricism that inevitably embeds itself in the minds of listeners for long times to come: "I’m the example of a lost human being! Maybe what moved you is what’s moving me.. Time heals all wounds sounds, so confusing! Maybe what moved you is what’s moving me.." But overall you miss a bit of a sense of depth, and perhaps a stronger stylistic identity than the slightly too familiar 'shouty, noodly emo/punk', and a bit of both could help Tiny Moving Parts up in the very top circles of punk-scene royalty. But even without it, "Celebrate" is an immediately impactful record that gives its band a fat serving of ammunition for upcoming touring efforts.
Download: Birdhouse, Good Enough, Common Cold
For The Fans Of: The World Is A Beautiful Place, Driver Friendly, The Front Bottoms, The Smith Street Band
Release date 20.05.2016
Big Scary Monsters