Tiny Masters of Today
I heard about these kids a year or two ago and wasn’t entirely impressed. First off, let me emphasize kids….they were both born in the 90’s.
“…With Ivan and Ada being aged 12 and 10 respectively when they released their first E.P, three years have now passed and the two find themselves squarely in the middle of teenage life. They also seem to be the most insulated teens known to man, their music repudiating any encroachment from either teen pop, or moody ’emo’ stylings. They’re still punk, they’re still indie, they are also more likely to garner comparisons to The Stooges than Hanson.
From the very first warped vocalisation which kicks off Skeletons, it’s clear how important the production will be in crafting an enjoyable, sustaining experience from Skeletons. Sound FX flit across the pan-spectrum, vocals are electronically-tuned, doused in reverb and then cast to the lower depths of the mix where they are frequently tasked with repeating one or two lines of lyrics for the duration of a song. Guitar chords undergo a regular Stars In Their Eyes-style treatment wherein they are returned to Garageband, dressed up with new tones, specks of distortion are applied here and there until they step back onto the stage: it’s the same chord Jim, but not as we know it.
Skeletons is rather an apt name, since these youngsters have, in effect, taken a battered, bare bones structure and made it dance through careful manipulation. “Big Stick” takes a two chord rhythm, a monotone vocal delivery and with the aid of beat splicing and periphery effects manages to make a funky lo-fi concoction which is well on the way to being considered ‘good’.
The stronger songs on the album, such as the body-bouncing summertime melody of “Pop Chart” go beyond the realm of ‘good’ and take the band squarely into brilliance-land. The bright, breezy guitar riff – though still simplistic – buoys the song through three minutes of sublime top-down windows-open pop genius sure to rival Xanax as your psychiatrist’s drug-of-choice..
The remainder of the songs fall somewhere between these two, if you don’t mind your vocalists bored and quiet, your punk spikey and cut-to-shreds, they the Tiny Masters are for you. Proof that although you can’t polish a turd, (take note anyone contemplating letting Paris Hilton record another album) George Bernard Shaw wasn’t lying when he wrote his play Pygmalion.”