This debut from Tiny Animals, a trio that hails from New York City, is mixed by musical wunderkind Claudius Mittendorfer, who’s worked with bands including Interpol, Brand New, Franz Ferdinand, the Foo Fighters and Muse. Unfortunately, their pop sound is a hackneyed variation of the standard pop music that plagues suburban radio stations.

Tiny Animals’¬†pop tunes toil with themes that have been overdone record and record again. Songs revel in tales about break-ups, money problems and family struggles but the lyrics are predictable and the instrumentals are indicative of a high-school band put together to score a girlfriend. An amalgam of neo-rock, they attempt personal introspection and relation to the bitter world is perhaps too introspective in their efforts for novelty. Lyrics like “I took my baby up the mountain, on her way down carving, the white and great wide open, the slope then, opened and froze shut, the snow collapsed and covered, her and she was smothered, we tried to dig her out and all these grizzlies and coyotes helped me fight the cold freeze,” disrupt the natural rhythm and leave the listener as frustrated as the very writers of the song.

The trio made up of Chris Howerton (guitar, vocals), Anton Kreisl (bass) and Chris’ sister Rita May Howerton (drums) tries to accomplish pop-rock with an emo undertone. Sound clich√©? It is, by appealing to the masses in a way that every discontented, rebellious young adult does. Their sound is bizarre but not intriguing enough and their potential is foiled by an apparent concern of a top 40 hit. If you want originality, sadly, Tiny Animals is not a zoo worth paying admission for. (North Street Records) –Eliza K. Johnston

  1. And we should rely on your somewhat pompous opinion because?