Ultimately, my favourite bands will always be those that make me want to punch the air and grin like a maniac. Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts clearly get this; they want you to bounce around your living room, smiling wildly and singing your guts out until you pop a vocal chord. And, on their third full-length, the appropriately titled ‘Celebrate’ the trio have delivered a career-best moment that makes you want to do all these things and so much more.
What’s most surprising about Tiny Moving Parts is just how quickly they’ve hit this level, with each previous record serving as a smart stepping stone as they’ve refined their sound. Debut ‘This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship’ was raw and rough, sitting on the fringes of screamo and noisy math-rock, while the more tempered follow-up ‘Pleasant Living’ brought in swathes of melody and indie-punk style.
‘Celebrate’ represents the perfect marriage between these styles; there’s still the math-rock and screamo influences adding a real serrated edge, but the focus on melody and hooks is pushed right to the fore. The result is songs that draw you in quickly and easily, but which are blessed with lyrical depth and unpredictable, off-kilter structures. And, no matter which way Tiny Moving Parts move, be it from the gorgeous swell of ‘Happy Birthday’, the bludgeoning post-hardcore of ’Breathe Deep’ or the pop-punk bounce of ‘Birdhouse’, they excel.
That’s not to say Tiny Moving Parts give everything freely and easily. They want you to work a little. The hooks and melodies are “gimme"s; the bare bones that will get you onside and excited. After that, you’ll need to invest a little bit of time to get the most out of ‘Celebrate’. Considering the immediacy of ‘Pleasant Living’, it’s something of a surprise, yet it’s worth it when the songs are as brilliant as ‘Common Cold’.
They can also write some killer pop songs. ‘Volumes’ is without doubt one of the finest 4 minutes of music you’ll hear all year, while the closing cut ‘Minnesota’ will just make you want to spin the whole thing again.
We’re seeing loads of emo revival bands make their breakout in 2016, and while Tiny Moving Parts haven’t really pulled free from the genre, ‘Celebrate’ is by far and away the group’s best collection of songs to date. Punchy, positive, passionate and unmistakably Tiny Moving Parts, more people should get in on their brilliance before they do inevitably make the jump.
’Celebrate’ by Tiny Moving Parts is released on May 20th on Big Scary Monsters (UK) / Triple Crown Records (US).
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)