Review Summary: A rare sophomore release that surpasses its predecessor in every way.
There always seems to be a great feeling of anxiety when it comes to being a fan of an up and coming band littered with potential. Bands that come up often with a moderately derivative sound that has its fair share of bright spots of originality, and just enough passion to make it work fascinate as much as they cause worry. It's hard not to expect a band of this ilk to fuck it all up and start treading water, or even worse regress. Tiny Moving parts fit into this assessment to a tee. The three piece math rockers' abrasive and twinkly guitar work matched with rough as sandpaper vocals started on their Merchant Ships worshipping debut EP Moving To Antarctica,
which was pleasant enough, but left a lot to be desired. Going into their debut LP This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship
three years later, Tiny Moving Parts cleaned up their sound with much improved guitar and vocal work, and an overall more imaginative sound, but a lack of cohesion between the tracks and often cringeworthy lyrics laden with high school poetry and awkward metaphors slightly held back what could have been a crowning achievement in the emo genre. Coming into their second full length release, Tiny Moving Parts have reached a make-or-break point in their career where they could tighten up their sound and stand apart from their peers, or start to tread the stagnant waters so many of their peers have drowned in the last few years. Thankfully for fans of emo and math-rock everywhere, Tiny Moving Parts' second full length album Pleasant Living
is able to surpass the lofty expectations placed on the band.
There's an interlude entitled "Entrances and Exits" towards the end of Pleasant Living
that perfectly encapsulates the entire record. It opens with a guitar refrain from earlier track "Boxcar" and reflective lyrics that summarize the entire record. Not only does this interlude add a much needed musical lull to the album, sum up every emotion and every feeling contained in this record, but it flows seamlessly into the next track "Skinny Veins," showing just how on top of their game Tiny Moving Parts are within the realm of crafting a perfectly cohesive sound that is unparalleled in terms of fervor and musicianship. Years of constant progression and fine tuning have resulted in an album fully realized in concept and sound that's filled to the brim with passion and stellar instrumentation.
Steady growth and unyielding enthusiasm makes it hard not to fall in love with a band like Tiny Moving Parts. Spectacular musicianship, improved vocal work, and a refined lyrical effort that compliment the passion that has always seeped through in every aspect of Tiny Moving Parts' sound makes it even harder. Containing arguably the best twinkly guitar performance since American Football's legendary self titled record, and a much improved vocal performance matched with honest, confessional, and most importantly straight forward lyrics no longer thinly veiled in clumsy metaphors, Pleasant Living
stands as one of the best records the emo-revival has to offer.