Tiny Moving Parts - Celebrate (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tiny Moving Parts

Celebrate (2016)

Triple Crown

Tiny Moving Parts have always felt like they're just that one small step away from achieving their true potential. Pleasant Living (2014) was that step in the right direction. They've always found a way of making upbeat indie jams that weave in so many other sub-genres like math, alternative, power-pop and on this record, a bit more punk. As usual, they've crafted another guitar-intricate and technically solid piece of music fit for fans of Old Gray, Annabel and Into It. Over It. They also continue to play off the contemporary wave of emo tropes (stylistically) that nods to bands like Sorority Noise, Modern Baseball, You Blew It!, Dikembe and The Hotelier as well. Celebrate picks up right where they left off two years ago with another densely emotional and vulnerably exposed record that touches on the sadder moments in life but ends off on a note of optimism, reminding us that life's a gift to celebrate.

Dylan Mathiesen's ringing guitars and incessantly intertwining riffs are prominent once more, creating such a warm mood and melodic, head-bobbing throe of singalongs. There are a bunch of shout-along anthems on tap which I can see live crowds loving even more than their older material. "Good Enough" and "Happy Birthday" are the earliest examples of this, opening the record with an energetic fizz. "Birdhouse" then tails off with more gang vocals, something they really should employ more of, with a '90s-era drawl a la Jimmy Eat World. Very Bleed American at times. Mathiesen's vocals are as clean and alluring as ever alongside Matt Chevalier's thumping bass (and screamo vocals on the side). Matt's brother, William, also contributes as expected with some more badass kitwork. 

They all combine so well and on "Headache" it's a big easter egg to hear them refer to the 'couch' aka the metaphor for the passing of time and coming-of-age they mentioned on This Couch Is Long & Full Of Friendship a few years ago. There are quite a few tracks to phone home about with "Common Cold" (which features a big surprise for fans of Foxing) as another standout. The album wraps on quite a high with a Sparta-esque series of guitars on "Volume" setting the stage for some of TMP's most-enthralling stuff to date in the last two tracks. "Minnesota" and "Minnow" drown you in their musicianship, dramatic lyrics and more so, how they sculpt the evolution of the band, reminding you of how well they've worked through their flaws and kinks. Both are clever, indie-rock jams, contrasting in tempo but traverses the range of their sound. Two jams that'll definitely have college kids up in arms. In fact, it's tough to pick a song off Celebrate that won't have you pumped in the crowd. As a big fan of all their work, this record is their best to date and I can't wait to see them try to top it.