Thin Lips - Divorce Year (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Thin Lips

Divorce Year (2015)


On first listen, Thin Lips vaguely sounded like Hop Along demos. Ironic given they're Philly neighbors and that they're actually opening for Frances Quinlan's band. There are a lot of similarities between the two so it makes sense to link them but that doesn't take away from how powerful and moving Thin Lips come off in just four short tracks. Divorce Year is a raw-vocal powerhouse wrapped with a crunchy power-pop blanket that leaves you relating to Philly souls once again. Why? Well, because everything encompassing them seems based on the precept of family - from their craft to their surroundings.

The Hop Along comparison really comes off strong in "Nothing Weird" which opens with a bubbly, vivacious energy. It's when the gang vocals kick in that the song forms its identity even more. However, Divorce Year is established largely due to singer, Chrissy Tashjian, who boasts that same pained frenzy of Quinlan on the mic. She's frantic yet visceral in her own subtle way. She used to front Dangerous Ponies who recorded a lot with producer Joe Reinhart (now of Hop Along) so it's no surprise why this parallel was drawn, right? Fellow Dangerous Ponies members Kyle Pulley and Michael Tashjian (Chrissy's brother) are in Thin Lips, while Michael and a couple other DP members are also part of The Weaks, completing the trifecta of Philadelphia love. It's this bond that seems to help all these bands succeed as it feels more like siblings' chatter at the table as opposed to an industry or a stable or a roster or a fraternity.

Through these thick bonds of friendship, the rough and raw feel of these songs along with the hearty, cracking vocals all make a sincere mix. Fresh guitar riffs and a sense of fearlessness creep in to add more layers to the album's indie-rock stance. See "Gemini Moon" for this. It's a jam made for fans of Cayetana and RVIVR. "Divorce Year" is a tad heavier and shoots out like an Adventures track, reiterating that the band may well wear their influences on their sleeves, just a tad too much. However, it doesn't harm the value of Divorce Year. It's a really promising step from a band who seems destined for big things, quickly. If they stay close to Hop Along, I can see the spotlight quickly giving them fair play as well.