Coming from the capital of England (for the people who are stupid, and don’t know London), the Tinmen formed 4 months ago after practicing in a shed. They’ve been gigging around the London circuit, while also recording this debut EP ‘Handful of Dust’. Unfortunately the lads didn’t feel the Shed was good enough anymore as they believed it had asbestos (also they had lanlord debts, so good job they got out of there), they now rehearse underneath a strip club with a load of heavy metal bands, which to me doesn’t sound too appealing but needs must. They’ve had some radio play off BBC radio 6, supported The Weeks on their tour and also have been selected to play Kingston’s new Slang by Banquet records. So for a band that have only been together for 4 months, they’ve already managed to get themselves quite a bit under their belt. So who’s in the band? I’ll put in in their words because it made me laugh.
Samuel Chatterley – Holds the small guitar and says the words
Robbert Cotter – Plays the big guitar and says more words
Samuel Freems – Sits behind the pile of scaffolding, fingers the tiny plastic Ivories and joins in with the words (my personal favorite Bio).
Oh and they’re Lovers of The Smiths, Pixies and Talking Heads.
You can listen to the EP for free on their website, which is quite a nifty website, and I think that’s actually nice, especially how good the EP is. So before you continue to read the review listen to it on their website. http://wearethetinmen.co.uk/tinmen.html#bio
Th e first song featuring on the EP is called ‘Cradle/Grave’, and it’s a catchy number to say the least having the high pitched guitar keeping you interested, but wait that’s not the only thing that keeps you listening. I found the lyrics rather funny especially with lines like ‘Get drunk and stumble around the dance floor/ Watch boys watch girls and feel alone’, because that second was literally me when I was single. However it has a slight dark undertone with the lyric ‘You’re only one step from the cradle’. The vocals remind me of Carl Barat in his Dirty Pretty things era, I don’t know what it is but there’s something there that links me to him.
In this song I got a connotation of The Smiths, especially with the melody and how it’s sung, also I think the guitar really does show signs of Marr with that high pitch and combined with that sexy little jangle hidden within it. This song is the shortest out of all them, but I think it’s one of their strongest ones, because they keep quite sweet with a little interlude in the middle of it. Again there’s the slightly more haunting side to the song, but a side that sits really well with the song.
‘Don’t confuse thrill with substance’, probably one of the best lyrics I’ve heard this year, understandably it’s early days but I’ve listened to A LOT of music. This song is probably my favorite on the EP, partly because I really the vocals in this song and how they both sing separate lines, and you can tell a clear distinction in the voice, slightly like The XX, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve ripped them off, they seemed to have made it their own. This has some really cool lyrics in it, I think it’s probably the best written song on the EP, perhaps not the most musically challenging, but definitely a very good song. Coming to the end song it breaks away and picks up a bit of pace, Sam really show’s his talent with his vocals.
‘Handful of Dust’
The final song on the EP, and it’s an ample way to finish an EP. Sometimes I find in EP’s I listen to it starts with a really strong song, and as the EP goes on I lose interest because the following songs weren’t strong enough, this Tinmen manage to keep that going all the way through and this final song emphasizes that point. The song has a swagger to it with the line ‘I’ll show you fear in a handfull’, after hearing that line for the second time I was singing it. A masterly well composed song, accompanied with these lyrics that accommodate a swagger that, I’m going to say it again, Carl Barat has.
Thoroughly enjoyed the EP, I’ve listened to it over and over again and just can’t seem to pick a fault with it, looking forward to what else these guys can do, and I’m sure they’re working on some new stuff because it seems like they haven’t stopped since starting, so give them all the support you can.
Editor of Words For Music. Love music and support each other.