RATING: 8/10 


Minnesotan Emo-Revival trio Tiny Moving Parts have been picking up traction in a big way over the past couple of years. Touring with the likes of super-sad pop punkers The Wonder Years and the scatty Canadian punk outfit PUP, it’s easy to see the influence of Tiny Moving Parts’ contemporaries on their largely anticipated 4th full length ‘Swell’.

Tiny Moving Parts have always been a genre bending band. Combining math rock, emo and their own spin on Post-Hardcore, each song on ‘Swell’ feels unpredictable. This is something that Tiny Moving Parts use to their advantage as having such a wide pool of genre influences could have made the record feel disjointed, yet TMP are concise with their dashes of genre, something that makes for a very exciting listening experience.

“IT’S somewhat reminiscent of fellow emo titans American Football and throat ripping choruses similar to an unhinged Sorority Noise.”

This particularly stands out on penultimate track ‘Wishbone’. With clean verses that are somewhat reminiscent of fellow emo titans American Football and throat ripping choruses similar to an unhinged Sorority Noise.

Something that instantly shines on ‘Swell’ is the sheer complexity of the musicianship, particularly the guitar work. This is evident in opener ‘Applause’ in which particularly dour sounding chord progressions are coupled with clean and snappy math-pop-esque arpeggios to make for a truly interesting and albeit slightly head scratching listen.

Vocally is where ‘Swell’ truly comes into it’s own. Lead vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen’s sometimes sung, sometimes screamed delivery is emotional almost to the point of discomfort. Yet, it does not impact the record in a negative way, very much the opposite. Mattheisen’s vocals feel more refined on ‘Swell’ than previous effort ‘Celebrate’, employing screams and yells in order to stress particularly important vocal lines. This is seen in ‘Feel Alive’ in which Mattheisen builds to a heartbreaking ‘I Still Miss You’ to close the track. Moreover, the addition of Jetty Bones’ Kelc Galluzo on ‘Feel Alive’, ‘Caution’ and ‘It’s too Cold Tonight’ contrasts Mattheisen’s wiry screams, creating a dynamic that sounds something akin to if ‘The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die’ and ‘La Dispute’ had a strange emo lovechild.

Lyrically, Tiny Moving Parts, have always held a mantra of optimism and positivity. This is something that is seen on ‘Swell’, yet in a far bleaker manner. ‘Wildfire’ contains one of the catchiest hooks of the year in the perfectly delivered “I care a little too much”. It’s not a stretch to envisage a huge festival crowd giving each other boozy hugs and telling their mates how much they love them while belting back the heartfelt lyrics.

Overall, Tiny Moving Parts have produced a record that hits a lot of the right notes in ‘Swell’. Although it’s not a massive departure from the sound they crafted on the last 3 albums, ‘Swell’ feels like a more refined and concise Tiny Moving Parts. It feels as though the band are yet to hit their magnum opus, yet with the evidence given on ‘Swell’, it has to be just around the corner.

WORDS: Callum Hurst



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