Tiny Animals' new disc Our Own Time is the type of
album that you have to delve into before reaching songs that can stand
on their own rather than leaning on the formulaic patterns of their
predecessors. The threesome of lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Howerton,
his sister Rita Maye on drums, keys and backing vocals, and
bassist/backing vocalist Anton Kreisl rely heavily in the beginning
on melodies that sound very similar to the power punk set of One Eleven
Records' alumni like Mashlin and Rory and Columbia Records'
Boys Like Girls and Bullet For My Valentine. Our
Own Time is released by the indie label North Street Records and
gratefully the band blends strings by Melissa Tong and sound
effects from Kevin Mazzarelli to fatten up the tracks and have
them break away from Warped Tour so that the latter half of the album
does not sound dated.
Selections like "Fight Or Flight" and "You Let The
Whole World Down" are typical of the music heard on the Warped
Tour circa 2003-2006, which does not make them throw away tracks necessarily,
but it does make them sound dated. "I Can't Cry Forever"
commences the band's voyage away from leaning on their predecessors
and forming buds of their own with poignant lyrics that describe,
"Say goodbye / That's what they say / Should I try it's so hard
to walk away / Peddle to the max / Panic as I slip losing my grip
/ Now off track / Faces turn to wax / Got to make a stand but I can't
handle whiplash / Never looking back." The insecurities expressed
are bold and honest which gives the song a genuineness that compliments
Moving on, the album starts to sound like it was molded from the
band's hands and not configured to fit somebody else's calibrations.
The rhythmic beats of "Wait For Me" propel a dance vibe,
and the glazy sheen of "I Don't Need This Love" is injected
with bursts of muscular guitar chords. The sedate sprigs turfing "The
Moment" build and recede, congealing into a cyclical jaunt through
the progressions similar to the rises and falls adorning "Heroes
Of The Coast" in which only the peaks have a robust epic rock
sound. The gently splayed synth notes dabbed along "Nah Nah Nah"
turn into whipping flourishes through the chorus parts, and the final
number "Love Scene" is a straight, synth-based instrumental
that revels in positive sensations.
Tiny Animals inevitably come into their own by the end of the album;
it just takes them time to arrive there. When they break out of the
house party/punk vibe of their predecessors, Our Own Time shows
possibilities for the band. Based in New York City, Tiny Animals may
display a likeness to commercialized power punk but their album demonstrates
that they are capable of so much more.
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