TX / FL
Do you like Ancient Aliens? Do you fear Illuminati shit? When you see a band with three guitarists setting up are you all, “Yes,” because you know it will be louder than hell? Hey.
Tiny Empires exist at the peak of sheer volume and progressive melodies, the combined quest for gut impact and inventive songwriting that can only be born of a lifetime spent in the trenches of DIY punk – one that either breaks you in two or creates a lasting need to kick against the rigidity of genre and expectation and culturally acceptable amp size.
Anchored by the distinctly hoarse baritone of former O Pioneers!!! braintrust Eric Solomon and the grim melodic counterpoint of New Bruises’ Bryon Lippincott, Tiny Empires’ debut full-length, Weird Headspace, finds both in top form as both vocalists and guitarists. Infused with a shower of Mikey Schmidt’s sonic guitar and rounded out by New Bruises relentless rhythm section of Jason Winter and Christopher Murray, there is an instant familiarity to the album’s inventive instrumentation that frees the band to explore newer, weirder headspaces.
Recorded at Black Bear Studio in Gainesville, Florida, Weird Headspace possesses all the grit of the city’s storied punk past but isn’t held back by its rules and regulations – songs like opener “Wide Open Spaces” make their home somewhere between Joy Division and Archers of Loaf and a colossal wall of sound, while “Just Imagine” rips like the best of the Constantines back catalogue. It’s an album that demands an immediate second spin, with every song densely packed with ideas and twists, subtle melodic movements and rhythmic palpitations. It’s weird.
Co-headquartered between Houston, Texas, and Tampa, Florida, Tiny Empires isn’t a marriage of convenience. Instead it’s the end game of people who have had to work hard to find a sound they want to play. Playing that sound fucking loud.