Tin Star's Bettie Lane | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Tin Star's Bettie Lane 

(Fractured Discs)

click to enlarge 07.22musreview_tinstar.gif

The six-song debut from Durham quartet Tin Star comes in as a rustle, its chiming guitar refracted through the thick rhythm section of the title track, "Bettie Lane," like leaves gliding around tall, stately oaks. When, 30 seconds in, the fair-voiced Jamie Miyares joins, she suggests sheets of silk in the breeze, her balanced tone and careful temperament floating up, content within the rest of the band's atmosphere. Even on "Socially Distressed," the most aggressive and angular chunk of these 24 minutes, Miyares elides the anxiety within her lyrics—"I have almost lost my mind/ My mind is now undressed"—and clings instead to the calmer side of her understanding.

Throughout, Tin Star diffuses its themes just so, letting little hum-worthy hooks bounce around the room—never too immediate, never too aggressive, always there, just at the horizon. "Beyond," for instance, sounds like a hard piano popper viewed through sepia-toned shades, the hard edges of the guitar and keyboard softened until they surrender to the wash of the steady rhythm. And "Arizona" is a would-be rock anthem soaking up and warmed by the rays of its own orbit. Radiating electric guitar tones bounce throughout the mix. As quickly, the beats suck them back down, keeping the song hemmed in, bouncing forward.

That idea—to keep things spartan and well-spaced—can be as mesmerizing as it can frustrating: Though the songs are certainly strong and the band achieves exactly the precision the music demands, the result sometimes passes by too much like that rustle. It doesn't have the textural richness and weight of, say, The Clientele, whose similarly drifting tunes counter superficial simplicity with big basslines and sonics that interlock like clouds. On "False Friends," the record's best tune, the band even seems to acknowledge this. The music moves between a wisp and a near-roar, the guitar falling in and out of distortion, the drumsticks sometimes slapping harder. It stops just short of the catharsis of post-emo Scottish bands The Twilight Sad or Frightened Rabbit, though, shirking the violence and quench of a storm for the balm of that placid wind.

Tin Star plays The Cave with Pipe Friday, July 17.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Most Recent Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation