Tiny Moving Parts, Daddy Issues
The Menzingers’ eagerly awaited fifth full-length After the Party is available now. The album arrives as the follow-up to the Philadelphia-based band’s widely acclaimed Rented World.
Produced by Will Yip (Title Fight, Balance & Composure, Pianos Become the Teeth), After the Party taps into the Menzingers’ everyman romanticism to reflect on getting older but not quite growing up. Throughout the album, singer/guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May, bassist Eric Keen, and drummer Joe Godino offset that deeply nuanced songwriting with anthemic harmonies, furious power chords, and larger-than-life melodies.
“We spent our 20s living in a rowdy kind of way, and now we’re at a point where it seems like everyone in our lives is moving in different directions,” says May of the inspiration behind After the Party. Adds Barnett: “We’re turning 30 now, and there’s this idea that that’s when real life comes on. In a way this album is us saying, ‘We don’t have to grow up or get boring—we can keep on having a good time doing what we love.’” “Bad Catholics” follows the release of After the Party’s lead single “Lookers,” which premiered on Noisey in August.
The Menzingers formed as teenagers in their hometown of Scranton in 2006, then later relocated to Philadelphia. The band made their Epitaph debut with 2012’s On The Impossible Past, which was voted Album of the Year by Absolute Punk and Punk News. Released in 2014, Rented World was praised as “packed with clever songwriting” by The New York Times and “a colossal fist-pumper” by Stereogum.
Tiny Moving Parts
When it comes to Tiny Moving Parts, a literal family band from the tiny town of Benson, MN, there’s no problem operating in close quarters. Vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen and his cousins–bassist Matthew Chevalier and drummer Billy Chevalier, who are brothers–have been best friends since their childhood. As Mattheisen puts it: “We’d be hanging out every day no matter what.”
Growing up in what many people would simply describe as “the middle of nowhere,” Mattheisen and his bandmates didn’t have the same path into punk music as most young people do. Without a structured or storied local scene, the three found music on their own terms and created a positive connection to it from the beginning.
In fact, the first thing you realize when you talk to the guys in Tiny Moving Parts is how much joy they derive from being on the road. They’ve used their music to visit places they never thought they’d be able to go while growing up on the sprawling farmlands of their Minnesota hometown, which houses just 3,000 residents. They’ve built connections with people all over the country, delivering the same positive attitude they’ve had toward music all their lives to people who they never thought they’d meet. And, perhaps most impressively, Mattheisen and his cousins are the type of band that appreciates even the nuances of being on the road–navigating their way into a city for the first time, sleeping on living room floors, setting up and breaking down their gear, even the long overnight drives–it’s not only worth it to Tiny Moving Parts, it’s a part of their essence. The permanent smiles on their faces while they’re playing will make you believe that before they even finish their opening song.
The group’s positive mindset and close relationship helped them “figure out their sound” over the past couple of years, as Mattheisen says. Their new album, Pleasant Living, out September 9 via Triple Crown Records, showcases a band that has moved past its growing pains and is finding its tride. From the youthful exuberance and frenetic drum work on the opening “Sundress” to the purposefully suppressed yet intense closer “Van Beers,” it’s apparent from first listen that Tiny Moving Parts knew exactly what they wanted to do with Pleasant Living. And with the help of producer extraordinaire J. Robbins, they were able to get right down to it in a fashion that excels their sophomore status, entering the realm of veteran pomp. Pleasant Living isn’t afraid to belt you with its power, it isn’t apologetic about being in your face–and neither are the lively personas behind the band.
“I think we’ve found a happy balance here,” Mattheisen says of his band’s follow-up to 2013’s This Couch Is Long And Full Of Friendship (Kind Of Like Records). “It’s mathy, it’s complex, it’s thought-out, but there’s still an element of having fun sing-along songs in there. We really can’t wait for people to hear the album.” Lead single “Always Focused” defines the dynamic Mattheisen speaks of, with a noodly guitar riff and cries of, “I let myself down when I beat myself up.” He says it’s a song about worrying: “Even though I overthink everything, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Where This Couch Is Long was a story of a young person trying to discover themselves, Pleasant Living accurately reflects the group’s collective unbridled enthusiasm; it’s a record about finding a way to remain optimistic in life. It’s honest punk rock written by three guys from the Midwest who are experiencing the world together for the first time, and it’s a record that Tiny Moving Parts will take to every person who will listen.
When singer and guitarist Jenna Moynihan saw the phrase “Daddy Issues” scribbled on the bathroom wall of a now-defunct Nashville DIY venue, she mistakenly assumed it was the name of an all-girl punk outfit sure to become her next favorite band. Upon realizing that no such band existed, Moynihan and friends Emily Maxwell (drums) and Jenna Mitchell (bass) picked up their instruments, taught themselves how to play and started their own band. Three years later, Daddy Issues are gearing up to release their full-length vinyl debut Deep Dream, out 5/19 via Infinity Cat Recordings.
The band originally caught Infinity Cat’s eye after tastemaker Casey Weissbuch offered the trio a spot on the cassette series he curates for the label, which has hosted releases from artists like Rozwell Kid, Colleen Green and Guerrilla Toss over its three-year history. Days after submitting their tape in the summer of 2015, the band signed to Infinity Cat as official artists, releasing a 7″ split with Louisville band White Reaper later that year. Shortly thereafter, the band started work on Deep Dream with producer and label owner Jake Orrall (JEFF The Brotherhood, Colleen Green). Combining the sounds of ’80s alternative, ’90s grunge and ’00s pop, Daddy Issues tackle the difficulties of friendship, heartbreak, mental health, sexual assault and a number of other issues that come with the package of youth in the modern world.