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NEW!
CSTVTThe Echo & the Light from Tiny Engines
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Picking up where CSTVT's acclaimed full-length, Summer Fences, left off, The Echo & The Light doesn't miss a beat, honing in on the band’s most positive attributes. Leaning less on the sweeping atmospherics and lush soundscapes of its debut, the Chicago quartet kicks up the distortion and fuzz pedals that lace kinetic, intertwining guitars while placing a greater emphasis on gritty vocals and concise songs that wind tightly around propulsive, math-tinged instrumental passages. If Summer Fences was the result of CSTVT experimenting with an abundance of great ideas, The Echo & The Light is the band only using the very best of those.
     
 
NEW!
DIKEMBEBroad Shoulders from Tiny Engines
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It would have been easy for Dikembe to rush its debut full- length, but the band wisely spent the appropriate amount of time recording and mixing the ten amazing songs that would eventually make up highly anticipated Broad Shoulders. And from the first long-awaited note, it's clear that there's something truly unique manifesting itself Dikembe's signature sound - powerhouse rhythms, the acrobatic back-and-forth between the guitars and front man Steven Gray's confident-yet-completely raw and exposed delivery - is all still present, and it's imparted with even more vigor and conviction than ever before. However, album highlights such as "I Watch A Lot Of Jackie Chan Movies" and "Not Today, Angel" are thoughtful, nuanced and occasionally even haunting. They help to paint a picture of an evolving band and a record that is not only imaginative and memorable, but one that is fully realized and worthy of all the hype.
     
 
NEW!
DIKEMBEChicago Bowls from Tiny Engines
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It was surprising to virtually no one - save for Dikembe itself - that Chicago Bowls, in all its anthemic, adrenalized indie-cum-emo / punk greatness, took the underground by storm in 2011. The ironic, pun-laden ode to weed and arguably (and less ironically) the greatest (?) championship squad in NBA history was a breath of fresh air ... playful, charismatic and downright infectious without emitting an ounce of pretension. Four revelatory cuts of undeniable, high energy DIY rock 'n' roll, Chicago Bowls cajoled the listener to laugh along with song titles such as "Scottie Spliffen" and "Michael Jordank." There was no doubt that Dikembe's playful nature was an integral part of its singular sound.
     
 
NEW!
JOWLSCursed from Tiny Engines
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Harkening back to 90's hardcore/noise rock, Grand Rapids, MI based Jowls are a breath of fresh air on their debut as a trio. Originally formed as a duo from the ashes of Victor Fix The Sun the band recorded a demo and split 7" with fellow Michigan rockers, The Reptilian. In late 2011 the duo officially expanded with the addition of bassist John Harmon who played in Chicago noise rock band, Cloud Mouth. With that sprung the Cursed recordings which show a tremendous refinement in sound and scope. Jowls' brand of hardcore is unabashedly aggressive but also flexes a keen sense of dynamics and dare I say, even melody. Cursed is the sound of controlled chaos, of confidence exploding in measured amounts of brain and brawn. This is not aggression without purpose, every note here serves the whole. Every scream and every instrumental explosion serves as a lifeforce, as musical bread for a starved feeding. Jowls is absolutely vital.
     
 
NEW!
LITTLE BIG LEAGUEThese Are Good People from Tiny Engines
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In the Fall of 2011, Michelle Zauner and Kevin O'Halloran (previously of Post Post) joined forces with Ian Dykstra (Titus Andronicus) and Deven Craige (Strand of Oaks) to form Little Big League. Shortly thereafter the band recorded their debut 7". Released in April of 2012, the two songs offered a glimpse into the band's promising future, which after months of writing and playing live took solid form in their debut LP These Are Good People. The band's debt to 90s indie guitar rock is respectfully paid while Zauner's gorgeously unique vocal stylings and striking lyrical imagery add to the album's dark atmosphere. There is a level of tension and impending danger built, both lyrically and musically, that revels in the vulnerability of us all. These Are Good People is an album about coming of age, loss, and the overwhelming acceptance of reality over a failed romanticism.
     
 
NEW!
RESTORATIONSA/B from Tiny Engines
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When Restorations released their Self-Titled full-length in April of 2011, conversation about the Philadelphian band seemed fixated on one thing: finding some box in which to fit them. Though some come close, almost every attempt to define Restorations has fallen short. It's not that this first full-length is indescribable; it's simply indefinable. On A/B, a two-song seven-inch released by Tiny Engines in the summer of 2012, Restorations refines this sound further, but, to the dismay of rock critics around the world, they steer no closer to easy categorization. Recorded by Jon Low (Twin Sister, mewithoutYou, Dr. Dog, Sharon Van Etten) at Miner Street Studios, the single exhibits the band at their most massive, but also their most dynamic. Of course, if this roller coaster ride of melodies and moods makes A/B difficult to define, it also makes it a compelling pair of songs. Maybe this is why people seem so desperate to pin down Restorations; after all, it's fun to describe that, which captures our interest, piques our curiosity, and stretches our expectations. For now though, we will have to allow Restorations to mysteriously exist in their own spacious territory. The only question is where will they go next?
     
 
NEW!
RUN FOREVERSettling from Tiny Engines
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Known for its tireless work ethic and resolute DIY attitude, Run Forever has spent much of the last two years on the road, playing to enthusiastic fans in tiny clubs, sweaty basements and crowded house shows around the country. From fist-pumping, sing-along punk anthems to swinging folk rockers to more intimate acoustic numbers, the outfit's songs touch on issues such as the corruption of organized religion, politics and - on its debut - the struggle to overcome the tragic loss of former band mate. Run Forever never fails to impress with its ability to write driving, gritty tunes without sacrificing melody or falling into predictability, and its music is one of those rare specimens that resonates profoundly in both our ears and our hearts.
     
 
NEW!
SPRINGTIMESouth Hill from Tiny Engines
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Playing D.C.-styled hardcore in the vein of Dag Nasty and early End Of A Year, Richmond, VA's Springtime brims with energy and an unmistakeable old school flare. Forming in late 2011 and featuring members of Family Cat, Tiger Tail and Cheyenne, Springtime's self-released demo was released only a few months later in March 2012. The songs showcase a maturity that is striking for such a young, wet-behind-the-ears band. The tension and tenacity of Springtime is palpable as the first chords explode. The passion of early DC emocore from Rites of Spring to Dag Nasty shines through in sharp bouts of energy that emanate from the band's songs. With short bursts of melodic fury and dueling, angular guitars over gruff but enticing vocals the band never fails to keep your undivided attention at all times. Mixed with the melodic punk/hardcore of scene giants like Leatherface, Texas Is The Reason and Lifetime, Springtime pay fitting tribute to their influences while confidently blazing their own path.
     
 
NEW!
STATE LINESFor the Boats from Tiny Engines
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Though State Lines has matured since their last Self-Titled EP, For The Boats shows that they have not lost their emotional intensity. Instead, the energy, once generated by explosive tempos, is reserved for the record’s most touching moments; likewise the charm that made the band's debut, Hoffman Manor, so memorable has been swapped by dynamics and momentum. In fact, one might argue that For The Boats is more restless, more intense, rawer, and certainly more real.
     
  BEST PRACTICESThe EP LP from Tiny Engines
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Featuring current/former members of Light The Fuse And Run, Wow, Owls!, Weak Teeth and Jesuscentric, Best Practices is a return to the fundamentals of punk rock. On the band's Tiny Engines debut, The EP LP, the quartet lets loose a whirlwind of (garage power pop) punk fury. Recorded with Will Killingsworth (Orchid, Ampere) at Dead Air Studios, Best Practices pummel their way through 9 songs in 12 glorious minutes. The band comes close to careening off the edge at points but never seem to overtake themselves. Chock full of razor sharp hooks Best Practices lays down a furious gauntlet that is as catchy as it is exhausting. All your left with as The EP LP fires towards the finish line is the feeling that you just want to do it all over again.
     
  EVERYONE EVERYWHERES/T from Tiny Engines
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Everyone Everywhere’s eponymous debut builds on the rock- solid foundation laid down on last year’s dynamic 7", A Lot Of Weird People Standing Around, and further pushes the band’s sonic palette in exciting new directions at every turn. Sure, those lovely Promise Ring vibes remain – not to mention hints of Braid’s twisting-yet-tuneful angularity, the crackling anti- anthems of indie heroes Superchunk and Piebald’s off-kilter sense of melody – but the Philly four piece has honed its songwriting chops, dialed in its amps and seriously upped the ante with this emotionally taut ten-song affair.
     
  LOOK MEXICOGasp Asp from Tiny Engines
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Undoubtedly Look Mexico's best work to date, Gasp Asp builds on the foundation of their brief-but-impressive catalog - the dynamic instrumental interplay, undeniably catchy melodies and a knack for keeping things unpredictable. Still, these three tracks inject a welcomed sense of maturity and craftsmanship, and Look Mexico sound more assured of their songwriting abilities than ever before. The band has truly discovered its own unique voice in indie rock.
     
  MONUMENTGoes Canoeing from Tiny Engines
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Well worth the wait, Monument's much buzzed about debut full- length fulfills the potential that the quartet's 2009 3 Song 7" hinted at and finds its songwriting prowess growing by leaps and bounds. Goes Canoeing isn't so much a melding of styles but rather the culmination of a vast array of influences, not to mention years of members playing in bands such as The Summer We Went West, Dawn Treader and The Tasty Habits. From, math- y emo, post-punk, noise-pop, grungy 90's indie rock and even the Dischord-styled hardcore of the band's D.C. home, Goes Canoeing is as loose and raw as it is infectious and intricately layered. Recorded by Algernon Cadwallader's Joe Reinhart, these 10 songs are bursting with acrobatic guitars, spirited gang vocals and uncommonly catchy melodies, all bolstered by Monument's creativity and undeniable enthusiasm. The first great, essential release of 2011.
     
  RED COLLARWelcome Home from Tiny Engines
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Three years in the making, Red Collar's Welcome Home fulfills the promise of the band's acclaimed debut full-length, 2009's Pilgrim. Welcome Home continues the tradition of heart pounding indie punk & roll from the Durham, NC quartet but expands the palette with dynamic results. Red Collar combine the jagged rhythms of DC punk along with the soulful, working class spirit and lyrical bend of bands like The Hold Steady and The Gaslight Anthem. Never shying away from their influences, the band proudly displays the earnestness of Springsteen, the boldness of The Replacements and the swagger of The Clash firmly on their sleeves. All that you know and love about Red Collar remains but Welcome Home opens up into hauntingly beautiful songwriting territory that touches on the timelessness of Americana roots. Red Collar is back and they are better than ever! Welcome home!
     
  RESTORATIONSS/T from Tiny Engines/Poison City
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On Restorations' Self-Titled debut full-length, the Philly quintet creates songs that are layered, tension-building monsters which lean heavily on a rhythm section that could probably knock a hole in the side of a Sherman tank. Still, that never takes away from the band’s ability to craft warm, stirring melodies, enduring hooks and dynamic song structures. Cascading guitars, pulsing waves of reverb and spacey flourishes are held together by Jon Loudon’s raspy-yet-tuneful growl. His delivery transmits confidence, wisdom and a bit of wear and tear – perhaps from years fronting underground DIY heroes Jena Berlin – but he also sings with a soulful, youthful exuberance that feels like he genuinely loves the process of creating music. Perhaps that is Restorations’ strength as a cohesive unit – that even though this record is a serious work of art with many subtle complexities, achingly intense moments of restraint and driving need to find a unique voice, it also resonates as if it were an absolute joy to write and perform. Even the pristine production allows the band to maintain a raw, loose aesthetic and foundation-shaking low end that owes a much to the members’ hardcore roots. If you’ve been searching for a thoughtful, nuanced take on punk and indie rock – and all the sub-genres they entail – Restorations might just be your new favorite band.
     
  SIGNALS MIDWESTLatitudes and Longitudes from Tiny Engines
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Rarely do you come across a young band that startles you with such inherent quality. While Cleveland, Ohio�s Signals Midwest might be rooted in the ethos of punk rock the band quickly transcends the tag both musically and lyrically on their sophomore album, Latitudes And Longitudes. Paying tribute to the continual growth of legends like Small Brown Bike and Fairweather while echoing modern bands such as Balance And Composure and The Menzingers, Signals Midwest provide a unique perspective that resides firmly outside the punk-by-the- numbers formula. Call if post-pop/punk if you will. Signals Midwest formed in late 2008 as a trio and issued their first full-length album in 2009. In 2010 the band expanded to a quartet with the addition of a second guitar player. That would be a pivotal move in the band�s collaborative development. Experimenting with and expanding their sound, Signals Midwest quickly outgrew the standard pop/punk pace. With 2011�s Latitudes And Longitudes there is a fleshed out maturity that shines through. Recorded mostly live, the album bristles with the kind of energy and purpose that emanates from a band confidently growing comfortable in their own skin.
     
  STATE FAULTSDesolate Peaks from Tiny Engines
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Written over the span of close to a year, Desolate Peaks, is the debut full-length from State Faults. The band delivers on the album title imagery with an intense emotional landscape rarely traveled. Drawing upon elements of 90's emo and post- hardcore, State Faults is explosive but not to the extent where it overpowers the nuances of the band's songwriting. These songs are always able to breathe to their full potential. The band is adventurous and always pushing forward but never choose to wallow in grandiosity. On Desolate Peaks State Faults is able to find a perfect balance between craft and composition. Formed in early 2010, State Faults consists of four soulmates with a DIY ethic trying to make honest and emotionally charged music. Huddled together in the California heat, the band created a tightly knit sound which gave birth to an impressive self- released debut EP, Head In The Clouds. Released in late 2010, the EP quickly spread through word of mouth and the band began to cultivate a devoted following. In what can only be described as an advancement of the sound created on Head In The Clouds, the band's Tiny Engines debut, Desolate Peaks, takes State Faults to new uncharted levels.
     
  STATE LINESS/T from Tiny Engines
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State Lines make quite the first impression as the first chords ring out on their sophomore release. Recorded this Winter with Sainthood Reps' Bradley Cordaro, these four songs brim with confidence and overflow with punk energy while playfully pulling at those pop heartstrings we all possess. But while State Lines have plenty of youthful spirit left over they bite deeper with lyrical depth. Though their pop-punk forefathers are irrefutably influential, they have inspired a generation of bands that seem to steal the wrong cues and follow them towards the same predictable ends. State Lines isn't one of these bands; they've identified the spark and spirit that made their predecessors feel so initially fresh and have bottled it, choosing to express this explosive essence without following their winding, wandering path. While it is doubtful that State Lines has finished growing yet, it is refreshing they seem to know exactly where they are going.
     
  TIGERS JAWSpirit Desire from Tiny Engines
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Recorded by Vince Ratti (Circa Survive, None More Black, Jena Berlin), Spirit Desire keeps with Tigers Jaw's nostalgic yet completely fresh indie-rock-cum-pop-punk M.O., but injects even more tension, energy and undeniable harmonies into the mix. The title track is the darkest, most foreboding they've ever written; still, it's probably the catchiest as well. It's this mash-up of styles and contrasts that make the band so damn unforgettable.
     

 

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