Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tin Armor on One Percent Press Records

Got this one from the guys over at One Percent Press, who are also busy printing a bunch of comics anthologies and short zines along with their singles and full lengths, going one step further into the world of barely breaking even, taking on publishing on top of pressing records. Maybe that makes sense to hedge your bets across the board and have a records fund a comic now and then and vice versa. They're worlds that don't come together too often, but should.

Tin Armor doesn't have anything to do with those comics (I don't think)...but they're a four piece from Columbus, OH, which is close to where Harvey Pekar was born...does that count? These guys are handcrafting a dense, folky indie pop sound and A-Side's "Strange and Estranging" kicks off with a huge drum foundation of hits and the kind of slight country sound of introspective pop with a slight jangle to the guitars. The lead vocal from one of the brothers Umland is just a great natural sounding voice, without even trying he's probably been lead from day one... probably due to this overall laid back, sincere rehearsal they've been practicing all these years. No pretension or masterplan, like the Phil and the Osophers, it's jangly guitar with a naturally gifted arrangement... a smooth country pop ride. These traditional elements can sometimes be the hardest to tease out something new, but you have to take Tin Armor seriously just based on the level of competency alone...the melodies are a bonus.
It can be just as hard to come off natural, and these guys sound younger, fresh faced, taking those soul crushing life lessons and making lemonade with abstract poetic lyrics. Well....maybe not, "the shit never ends" even sung really sensitively, but they aren't afraid to go in that direction either. They've got a sense of humor, even during this seriously cohesive track with not much loose or out of place. Finding that balance.

"One million Shitlists" on the B-Side, is swinging into a pretty definitive pop rock sound with a hint of alt-country, which could be a version of their folk underpinnings and then it's reminding me of "The Face that Launched a Thousand Shits", in more than just that sentiment. Maybe it's the sparkly piano at the end of this pounding opening, with a David Vandervelde style vocal, or A.C. Newman and that punchy kaleidoscopic pop of harmony.... they've found a pretty killer hook here and rightfully pound it to making Tin Armor. (It's a reach.)

Heavy, thick black vinyl from One Percent housed in a thick cardstock 2 color screenprint....of course.
I'm pretty sure this one percent doesn't have anything to do with that tax bracket. I wish bankers would press some singles and comics...but Oh yea.... there's no money in it, just doing something unselfishly to appreciate others artists. Whatever...Yacht. Bonus. Hookers.

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