Reviews Tiny Empires Weird Headspace

Tiny Empires

Weird Headspace

Tiny Empires seek to build something new; something powerful, significant, and memorable, just as the name suggests. With their debut record Weird Headspace they’re doing just that. It’s big, grasping, and expansive work.

It’s also out of the ordinary for the scene in which it originates.

Lead by Eric Solomon (O Pioneers!!!) and Bryon Lippincott (New Bruises), it plays off the two very different vocal styles to blend loud, searching and clashing guitars against more expected, melodic fare. Also featuring New Bruises’ Jason Winter and Christopher Murray and third guitarist Mikey Schmidt, the band isn’t a simple mashing of two styles together. Sure, there are strong tones that remind of O Pioneers!!!. Opener “Wide Open Spaces” has that building blend of dynamics and pure, direct vocal shouts that Solomon utilized in his previous band. Meanwhile, Lippincott’s vocal contributions counter with melodic complement, picking up the harsher moments with a contrasting element similar to that utilized back in the screamo heyday (though, it should be noted, in very different usage than said genre). There are some shades of Hot Water Music in some of the guitar interplay, as in the intro to “What’s the Plan, Phil,” which also reminds of Solomon’s earlier work, but there is more depth to the sound with a crushing powerful wave that sweeps over it.

Then, at other times, as in “Air Conditioning, Full Blast” the rhythm section has tones of mid-tempo Nine Inch Nails. There’s a haunting and dark underbelly in these songs that later rages and burns, well exemplified in this song (which is a standout on the record). They successfully take the anger of O Pioneers!!! and stretch it into more complex and fluid work that still clocks in the 3-4 minute range but covers enough range to double that. The two singers and three guitars certainty play a role in the power behind this sound, but the wall of sound is a perfect match with the writing style that Solomon brings to the table and the energy continues to either peak or change direction at all the right times. Ten minute closer “Blurry Photos, Dead Leaves, Decomposed” is a slower tempo jam that explores noisier terrain but it never wanders off track.

Weird Headspace may be the start of Tiny Empires, but the power and the fury within these songs seeks something much larger. It’s already impressive, but if it continues to grow, it may just swallow everything else.

7.2 / 10Loren
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7.2 / 10

7.2 / 10

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