I don’t know if Modest Mouse producer Joe Blaney has brought any kind of Northwest influence to these Buffalo natives, but it seems that, with their debut LP, The Tins have more in common with The Shins than just the rhyming names. This trio is also capable of top notch quirky indie pop. I was a bit skeptical at first, as I usually am, when the space age keyboard kicked off “Hit And Miss”. The mini-Verlaine riff ten seconds in made me give the rest of the track a chance and I’m grateful for that. Both fuzzy and slick, this opening song sets a good, fun tone. Once again, trepidation crept in at the beginning of “Taking Liberties”, where the isolated opening guitar riff sent a shockwave of memories of nineties generative. But once again, an immense hook blindsided me and permanently opened me up for the rest of the album.
The keyboards return to the forefront on “Vicki” and form a great foundation for the album’s finest effort thus far. The next track, “Midnight Crowd”, actually sounds like what an A.C. Newman-James Mercer composition would sound like. It has a freakin’ xylophone and quickly displaces “Vicki” as the album’s apex. I could listen to that song over and over for hours, and have. The rest of the album has some fun moments, especially the doo-wop-ing “Halo” and last track, “Whiteout”. That fact is that Life’s A Gas is a pretty solid and entertaining debut and, in my opinion, outShin(e)s The Shins’ latest effort.
To further inform yourself, you can check out the band’s Soundcloud page.