Thin Lips - Riff Hard (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Thin Lips

Riff Hard (2016)

Lame-o records

Thin Lips' Divorce Year brought with it an infectious, high-strung energy hinging on the vocals of lead guitarist, Chrissy Tashjian -- one that resonated like fellow Philly outfit and close friends, Hop Along. I guess Joe Reinhart's work as producer on the EP may have also lent a lot to that. Stylistically, both bands have quite a few similar traits with Thin Lips also bringing out some elements I heard from Cayetana. In terms of power-pop driven by indie rock, they've met expectations with the guitar-laden debut LP in Riff Hard and definitely feels like they're building on the promise they've shown.

"Never Again" best represents the sound described above. Melodic hooks and bouncy riffs tapered over lyrics that continue to share the essence of what Philly and its people mean. "My Mouth Is Skinned Like An Apple" is another upbeat rocker, with a classical start-stop indie beat riffing on and on with Tashjian pouring over relationships, death (also on "Obituary") and more so, painting her city as a character. One that's animated and chock-full of emotion, which extends the personal arm she outstretched on last year's aforementioned EP. "What's Wrong" is another solid outing which emphasises why I keep comparing to Hop Along's Frances Quinlan. It's a slow, soul-grating gem diving into family and the bonds that make or break us. Each song finds its own identity weaving in and out of so many melodies (slight punk interjections here and there), again building nicely on what Divorce Year teased. It's a very guitar-driven album full of personality ("I Wonder") that's as catchy as it is telling. Very impressive debut with all roads pointing to bigger things on the horizon.