Release Date: April 2011
Label: Tiny Engines
It’s Thursday night. I haven’t had a very exciting day, but it’s time to chill out and relax for another day at the grind tomorrow. Just as I was about to pour myself a glass of wine I clicked on a link from another Thursday night discovery: Candy Hearts. I was confronted with something entirely unexpected and wholly welcomed.
Where one might usually find a brief description or a couple quips about an album, the blurb, some might say essay, on the Tiny Engines bandcamp page for the record explores the idea that the album is “music for grown-up punks.” I certainly fall into that category, having long resigned myself from the front lines of the pits, but unwilling to hang ’em up all together. As I listen, currently, to the album for a second run through and try to round up the album in some sort of coherent textual review, the exploration on bandcamp page that seems to wander seems extremely fitting.
While a lot of the “music for grown-up punks” of late has trended towards folk, most of which I truly love, there has been a gap for something more akin to the sounds of our youth wrapped up, grown up, and but packaged into something you can enjoy on a chill Thursday night. Gap: filled. Smart, thick, mostly mellow with the occasional up-tick: the album is the sound track of reflection. The album is layered with lilting guitar and keys over a heavy rhythm section, drums that ride the line of complexity without excess and chorus vocals back Loudon’s strong and gritty voice that keeps pushing me to compare the band with Jawbreaker. There is an echo of a little of everything from hardcore to shoegaze with all stops in between, and all at once.
For most of us age has brought a measure of wisdom and more than a couple scars. The things that first brought you to punk rock have most likely evolved. The fire that kept you hooked hasn’t gone out, but those scars have given you the wisdom to meter that fire. Chances are these days Minor Threat isn’t in your regular rotation, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get into it every time you hear “I don’t wanna hear it” come over the speakers at a show (and deride the kids for not getting into it too). Just because you’ve perhaps started sounding a little like your father, doesn’t mean your music should too.
Perhaps it’s all wrapped up in the closing track of the album and their first video “When You’re Older”:
It will be hard to unseat these guys as my new band of the year.