Review Summary: We get it, you're from Minnesota
Tiny Moving Parts have been around the block a few times. The emo revival mainstay has put out records, splits, and EPs at a blistering pace, coming out with nine releases in the past nine years. And throughout these nine releases, not a lot has changed. Tiny Moving Parts anchor their sound around Dylan Matthenson’s face-melting guitar ability, with tapping riffs galore and a large swath of guitar tunings and complicated arpeggios. The only real change the band has gone through is a vocal transformation from rough-around-the-edges melodic shouting to rough-around-the-edges melodic singing. And this lack of change I’ve embraced wholeheartedly, as consistency is often an underrated virtue. I’ve embraced the glorious sameness until recently as I’ve been relistening to the band’s 2018 release Swell
over the past year. Melodies that once excited me now sound sort of stale. Clumsy lyrics (a Tiny Moving Parts mainstay) that were once endearing now annoy me. And this lack of change has finally caught up to the band with the release of their fifth full length Breathe. Breathe
is ten more songs, ten more Tiny Moving Parts songs that hardly feel like they make up a cohesive album. Someone could tell me that Breathe
is actually ten b-sides from the band's last three records and I’d probably believe them. And this is not a bad thing perse, it’s merely disappointing. I’ve become numb to Tiny Moving Parts’ schtick. Insert melodious chords to start the track off, vocals about being sad and cold in the midwest, follow it up by a face-melting tapping riff, and then run into the poppy chorus. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. It’s been five albums now with this formula, and I’m not saying I’m looking for a New Coke version of Tiny Moving Parts, the formula is very good, but it’s holding the band back from being anything more than pretty good. If Tiny Moving Parts doesn’t start flipping the script they’re very quickly going to devolve into that band who in their 40s still writes songs about being in their 20s that you just feel sorry for.