I was super stoked to get a promo of this ahead of the release, as I’ve followed Tiny Moving Parts for quite some time, and have listened closely to how their sound has evolved over the past 4 albums. Keep in mind it’s been barely more than 18 months since TMP released their last LP “Swell” in January of 2018, but here they are, prepared to drop perhaps their most ambitious album yet with the forthcoming “breathe”. With this effort, Tiny Moving Parts continue to push their sound forward with 10 blistering tracks of their signature anthemic math-tinged emo-punk sound, yet this go round, the quiet parts are quieter, the louder parts are louder, the poppy parts are poppier, and their trademark sing-along choruses are even bigger. These songs are meant to be played loud, while doing your best air guitar tapping, as you sing along to every word of every line in every song. For those of you who have already heard the first two pre-released singles “Medicine” and “Bloody Nose”, you already know what I’m referring to. And those two songs are only a small dose of what is in store for the rest of the LP. Tiny Moving Parts continue to impress me with how seamlessly they’re able to blend the sounds of math rock, emo, anthemic pop punk and post-hardcore into a cohesive effort like this, with great songs and without sounding disjointed. These songs are meant to be sung back loud, in unison with the band, along with 100s of other screaming kids, packed into to their live show, with their fists in the air, and smiles on their faces. I’m not going to give away too many details yet, since this is just a “First Impressions” and I have only listened a couple of times, but what I will say is that I like how the band is experimenting sonically with more layers of production and instrumentation, like on the standout emo-pop track “Vertebrae”. On this track, Tiny Moving Parts combine strings, pianos, and what I’m almost positive is a banjo soloing over the other layers of music during the song’s bridge, along with 4 part vocal harmonies, and perfectly clean guitar twinkles, that wouldn’t sound out of place on some of your favorite emo-punk records from the late 90s or early 2000s. And don’t fear, not only does the album have a nice mix of polished melody, raw emotion, mid-tempo punk, faster paced rock and slowed down balladry, the album still contains the classic screamed vocals Tiny Moving Parts were known for in their earlier material. Furthmore, the technical clean guitar parts followed by heavy guitar distortion are still more than ever present, and the choruses….well you’ll be shouting along to all of these songs in no time. Lastly, the album manages to have an accessible feel to it, while still maintaining the raw integrity that we’re used to hearing from these guys, in both the production and emotional intensity. More listens will determine if the album has stay power, but from the first couple spins, it’s making me want to hit play again. It's also a very fitting release for the fall season that's upon us and a great album to close out the summer to.
Standout tracks on first listen (aside from Medicine and
Bloody Nose only because those were already stuck in my head before I heard the full
length): The Midwest Sky, I Can’t Shake, Vertebrae, Hallmark. Honestly, as of now, I like
all of them.