After a carefully staggered series of streaming releases to drum up anticipation, Midwestern emo/math rock outfit Tiny Moving Parts has unleashed a third album, Celebrate, that reveals a confidence, direction and progression in their sound.
The 10-song outing kicks off with "Good Enough," a blisteringly warm and incredibly technical track that showcases the band's signature blend of complex time signatures and anxiety ridden lyrics. "Happy Birthday" and "Birdhouse" serve as a defining style template for the album, hearkening back to the band's earlier experimental stylistic qualities, while "Common Cold" may be the trio's closest return to the sound of their debut, full of reckless aggression, bleary guitars and propulsive lowend. Sadly, "Stay Warm" and the two tracks that follow feel too underdeveloped, drawing excessively from third wave emo sonic touchstones to feel unique in sound or application.
After struggling to make it past the halfway point, Celebrate comes to a strong two-song close in "Volumes" and "Minnesota," both with groovy jazz fusion vamping that exemplifies their focused technical attributes. The end of Celebrate especially resonates as genre boundaries slowly being to dissolve, something more post hardcore and emo bands could stand to recognize. It's a precarious balancing act, trying to realize your artistic vision while attempting to satisfy the scene that contributed to your success, but Celebrate juggles both, a ringing endorsement for Tiny Moving Parts' future.
Critics' Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars