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Tiny Moving Parts
with Mom Jeans and Oso Oso
From the Promoter
Advance tickets also available at Rotate This & Soundscapes
TINY MOVING PARTS
Bandmates call each other "family" all the time–when you're in a van or bus touring for most of the year, fostering a close relationship is an integral part of the territory. Feuds and disagreements amongst bandmates can be career-ending for even the most promising young acts, while groups that stay tight-knit can experience longevity.
When it comes to Tiny Moving Parts, a literal family band from the tiny town of Benson, MN, there's no problem operating in close quarters. Vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen and his cousins–bassist Matthew Chevalier and drummer Billy Chevalier, who are brothers–have been best friends since their childhood. As Mattheisen puts it: "We'd be hanging out every day no matter what."
Growing up in what many people would simply describe as "the middle of nowhere," Mattheisen and his bandmates didn't have the same path into punk music as most young people do. Without a structured or storied local scene, the three found music on their own terms and created a positive connection to it from the beginning.
In fact, the first thing you realize when you talk to the guys in Tiny Moving Parts is how much joy they derive from being on the road. They've used their music to visit places they never thought they'd be able to go while growing up on the sprawling farmlands of their Minnesota hometown, which houses just 3,000 residents. They've built connections with people all over the country, delivering the same positive attitude they've had toward music all their lives to people who they never thought they'd meet. And, perhaps most impressively, Mattheisen and his cousins are the type of band that appreciates even the nuances of being on the road–navigating their way into a city for the first time, sleeping on living room floors, setting up and breaking down their gear, even the long overnight drives–it's not only worth it to Tiny Moving Parts, it's a part of their essence. The permanent smiles on their faces while they're playing will make you believe that before they even finish their opening song.
The group's positive mindset and close relationship helped them "figure out their sound" over the past couple of years, as Mattheisen says. Their new album, Pleasant Living, out September 9 via Triple Crown Records, showcases a band that has moved past its growing pains and is finding its tride. From the youthful exuberance and frenetic drum work on the opening "Sundress" to the purposefully suppressed yet intense closer "Van Beers," it's apparent from first listen that Tiny Moving Parts knew exactly what they wanted to do with Pleasant Living. And with the help of producer extraordinaire J. Robbins, they were able to get right down to it in a fashion that excels their sophomore status, entering the realm of veteran pomp. Pleasant Living isn't afraid to belt you with its power, it isn't apologetic about being in your face–and neither are the lively personas behind the band.
"I think we've found a happy balance here," Mattheisen says of his band's follow-up to 2013's This Couch Is Long And Full Of Friendship (Kind Of Like Records). "It's mathy, it's complex, it's thought-out, but there's still an element of having fun sing-along songs in there. We really can't wait for people to hear the album." Lead single "Always Focused" defines the dynamic Mattheisen speaks of, with a noodly guitar riff and cries of, "I let myself down when I beat myself up." He says it's a song about worrying: "Even though I overthink everything, I wouldn't have it any other way."
Where This Couch Is Long was a story of a young person trying to discover themselves, Pleasant Living accurately reflects the group's collective unbridled enthusiasm; it's a record about finding a way to remain optimistic in life. It's honest punk rock written by three guys from the Midwest who are experiencing the world together for the first time, and it's a record that Tiny Moving Parts will take to every person who will listen.
If punk-rock is a response to anything, it's pop—music, culture, that which is mass produced and consumed—which is why their combination requires such a delicate balance. With State Lines, singer and guitarist Jade Lilitri successfully maneuvered the two simultaneously; the band's brand of fuzz and bounce, bite and fun, found its stride just before it fizzled out. Jade does more than maintain balance under a new name, Oso Oso seems to extend his capacity in both domains. Indeed, the songs that make up his first full-length Real Stories of True People Who Kind of Looked Like Monsters feel equal parts coarse and tangled and inescapable. "Wet Grass," which begins with thudding toms and guitars that chirp like jungle birds, builds into a chorus thickened with muscular chords and layers of vocals. Jade's melody on tracks like this and "This Must Be a Place" seem instantly hummable—the sort that coax the listener to swim through the thrumming chords and ride the adjacent harmony, if not sing alongside him. Even his bold, buzzing voice seems to express the album's duality—it cuts through the italicized guitars on "Another Night," surfs the wake of "This Must Be an Entrance," hops on "Where You've Been Hiding's" pins and needles, and maintains a confident melody throughout. Thankfully, Real Stories never becomes too pop or too punk, and never stumbles into pop-punk's shiftless landscape. Instead, Oso Oso sets pop against punk, lets them tear into each other until the result is as ragged as it is anthemic.