From the sound of The Tins new LP Life’s A Gas, it’s surprising to learn that this Buffalo band only has such a limited amount of material out. With just a previous self-titled EP to their name, they sound incredibly cohesive on their debut LP. Many of the tracks are built on the sounds of 60’s rock, led by keyboards, dual vocal harmonies from Mike Santillo and Adam Putzer, and catchy guitar riffs.
The first thing that was intriguing about this album when giving it a listen was that all of these sounds were familiar but hadn’t all been incorporated so well into a good rock song with such consistency. Over eleven tracks, The Tins bring to mind the sounds of indie greats like The Shins, Wolf Parade, and even early Modest Mouse in the way they take songs in so many directions while still maintaining a concise sound.
Lead track “Hit and Miss” moves along with urgency and shows off the band’s signature keyboard and guitar pairing which is clearly the sound of a band that is incredibly comfortable playing together.
Just when you think you know what you’re getting instrumentally from this trio, they change directions effortlessly without any warning, like on the keyboard driven jam “We Fought The Moon” where the track ends with an instrumental led by fantastic guitar play from Adam Putzer very reminiscent of what made the debut LP from Montreal band Wolf Parade so powerful.
On “Taking Liberties,” the band uses the most basic elements of classic 60’s rock and roll to craft a catchy pop song that reminds us why rock first became so accessible. The 60’s influence is also obvious on the track “Spies,” where the two part harmonies lead a swirling keyboard line that blends garage rock elements with the psychedelic aesthetic found in much of rock music of that era.
“Vicki” is the LP’s best sounding track, which highlights everything that The Tins do well. Kicking off with a heavy garage-rock guitar riff and bringing in a keyboard line that defines this band’s exciting sound. The acoustic charm of “Midnight Crowd” reminds of the early work of The Shins and has the same appeal of simple songwriting done right when put together well lyrically.
The track “Please Be Kind” was released as a free download from the band and shows off a new sound for the band with a funk-laden bass line and is easily the most danceable jam that the Tins have made to date.
Life’s A Gas is ultimately a very promising debut LP from a band that should only continue to improve upon their sound. Such a focused effort is usually reserved for releases from bands that have been making albums for far longer than The Tins, and given that this solid release gets the recognition it deserves, the band will have a much larger platform from which to develop their musical ideas. Expectations for this Buffalo band are high and with their invitation to New York’s CMJ festival this October, the local buzz surround these guys could gain momentum. The band is also hosting an album release party for the LP at 9pm on Saturday, October 6th at Nietzsche’s on Allen. Admission is $5 and $10 will get you admission plus a copy of the album. The Tins will be performing along with Handsome Jack and Dotsun Moon. Anybody wanting to get excited about our local music scene here in Buffalo will be sure to make this show.