The Tins: Young Blame EP

[30 July 2014]

By Zachary Houle

Talking Through Tin Cans

There’s not much to say about Buffalo, New York, trio the Tins. They’re pretty standard as far as an indie-rock act goes, mining influences as deep as ‘80s synth pop to more traditional and latter-day indie-rock acts. Both the press release and an early review of their latest outing, an EP called Young Blame, reference the Kinks – but I’d be darned if I actually heard that influence in any of the Tins’ songs, at least here. No, the Tins are just rather plain and ordinary, but that’s not necessarily a horrible thing. With Young Blame, they do showcase some serious songwriting chops, and an affinity towards writing infectious choruses. And, yet, the EP is too short to leave very much of a mark. You may think that I’m about to write this band off, which couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. It’s just that the Tins are rather plain, write kind of sappy stuff, and are just resoundingly good. Not brilliant, not special. Just good.

The thing about the first song, “Let It Go”, is that it has a chorus worthy of the Cars. I’ll dare you to listen to it and not have it get stuck somewhere between your left ear and your right. The verses are, however, resoundingly plain. “They’re Not Evil”, which is embedded below as a video link (and a warning, here, watching it may cause seizures in some people), kind of suffers from the same fate. A hummable chorus, and an unmemorable verse. I’m not sure if “If You Want to Navigate” is trying to be a Vampire Weekend song or not, so I’ll pass on that. However, final track “Sylvia, Before the End”, is a folksy acoustic guitar strum with a creaky hockey rink organ rising about the din in places. This might be the EP’s standout track, as it feels more like a bonafide song rather than just a memorable hook. All in all, the Young Blame EP is not bad. Nothing terribly great, but not bad. If the band can come up with snappier verses to match the strength of its refrains, perhaps they’ll be catching the next bus out of Buffalo for the Big Apple.

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