REVIEW: The Tins – ‘Young Blame EP’

'Young Blame EP' is available 7/29

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The Tins 'Young Blame EP'
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Here we are in the heart of summer.  The windows are down, you can feel a breeze.  The Tins latest release, ‘Young Blame EP’, arrives at just about the middle of summer, days before the summer solstice, to provide a slightly late but still refreshing addition to your summer soundtrack.  The Tins have spent their past releases, a self-titled EP and 2012’s ‘Life’s A Gas’, developing their own brand of indie rock, something like The Shins on a beach with more synths.  ‘Young Blame’ doesn’t sound quite surfy, but the EP has a bright and breezy nature that will fit right in to summer vacation.

“Let It Go” kicks off the EP, but slowly.  Instruments fade in one by one: drums, guitar, bass, and so on.  What begins as a mellow vibe bursts in to an anthemic chorus complete with the carefree call-to-action to simply “let it go.”  The Buffalo trio have a knack for layering in subtle additions, allowing the music to swell between cool verses and huge choruses, and the opener showcases this skill in its finest form.  The entire first verse serves as a build up to the chorus, each repeated section pushes things just a little further.  The next verse, for example, features additional guitar and piano, and later choruses feature an ever so slight backing vocal oomph.  “Let It Go” is a clear stand out and for better or worse, the other tracks largely live in its shadow.

Across only four songs, The Tins cover a fair amount of ground.  They never completely abandon their indie rock sound, but use it as a base to reach out into other styles.  If The Tins typically sound like The Shins, then the second track, “They Aren’t Evil”, is the metaphorical equivalent to the Broken Bells side project.  The remaining two tracks employ significantly less synth to fit an indie rock style circa early 2000’s.  The group still shake things up some by adding strings and organ to the closer, “Sylvia Before The End.”  Though none of these songs hit quite as hard as “Let It Go”, each track has its own appeals.  This smart move by The Tins to vary the feel of each song allows an otherwise small EP to provide music for a large amount of different listening purposes.

‘Young Blame EP’ is solid, particularly for something self-produced and independently released.  The songs keep a standard sound but vary enough in style to keep things interesting, the textural layering definitely helps.  However, ‘Young Blame’ is missing that special something.  Don’t be misled, repeated listens will probably lead to lines running through your head, but the EP doesn’t leave you dying for more.  After “Let It Go”, things seem to breeze by a little.  The songs are good, but not necessarily memorable.  When the summer ends, ‘Young Blame EP’ may find itself forgotten by some, but its still summer today, and The Tins have at least earned a listen.