Early on, Tiny Moving Parts were typically described as emo-revival - even after they went more 'poppy' on 2016's Celebrate and subsequently earned themselves a record deal with Hopeless Records. But while artists in that much-maligned genre often abandon the style of mid-00s emo in favour of a style influenced by that of '90s bands, the Minnesota three-piece seamlessly weave modern pop-punk, classic emo, and math rock together. This is especially applicable in the case of breathe, the band's thoroughly enjoyable new album.
Tiny Moving Parts deserve a ton of credit for mastering their sound. However, the band hasn't quite figured out how to inject their music with much variety or variation, suggesting they'd be best served to try something different on their next release. That being said, as the saying goes: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
So, with a stomach full of cheap lager and Rooster's chicken, I felt sufficiently merry to head to The 1865 to watch the first show of Tiny Moving Parts' European Tour...
Tiny Moving Parts make emotional, energetic and somewhat ridiculous music that demanded a comparable response from the crowd - even the introduction of a banjo (more on that later) prompted crowd-surfing. The high-energy instrumental intro of The Midwest Sky had scores of people whirling around in a mosh-pit, even before the song's soaring chorus sent everybody into a state of uncontrolled excitement. Everyone was beaming, none more so than the three musicians on stage.
Medicine followed and the room continued to bounce. From the same era and the band's newest album came Bloody Nose. Applause kept up the buoyant mood, before Headache, from their third record - the Minnesota band's incredibly underrated 2016 outing, Celebrate - reminded the crowd that, before they signed to Hopeless Records, this is a band who have always possessed the ability to write emo anthems.
It wasn't a perfect performance; frontman Dylan Matthiesen humbly explained "we are having a few technical difficulties at the moment" and fittingly, during the banjo solo on Vertebrae, sound issues unfortunately arose. But as they broke into Caution, the final song of their set, any teething problems they endured earlier seemed pointless to complain about. In such intimate surroundings, Matthiesen's trademark guitar wizardry and confessional lyrics feel particularly poignant. "I know we're just different / Keep drinking from the same cup / It'll fill you up / It'll keep you numb," he sung as Caution (and the band's set) built to its rousing crescendo.
There's a genuine charm to everything Matthiesen does, whether it's performing each song with a beaming smile despite its heartbreaking lyrics (e.g. Feel Alive and Always Focused) or holding his own when dealing with technical difficulties, as a whole venue watches on. To cut a long story short, it is difficult to not love Tiny Moving Parts.
You can listen to Tiny Moving Parts via Bandcamp at https://tinymovingparts.bandcamp.com/
George Miles – Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeMiles6