Signing a band from a foreign country is not an easy decision, but for Tiny Engines, it’s easy for anyone to see why they chose Leeds, UK’s Walleater to join the likes of Restorations and The Hotelier as well as emo favourites Tigers Jaw on the Tiny Engines roster.
Tiny Engines will release the band’s 2014 EP i alongside the new II EP together on one LP later this month. Walleater pay their respects to influence from Nineties alternative rock such as Hum and Swervedriver while also juxtaposing lush, ambient pop hooks with grinding guitars akin to the crop of shoegaze revivalists Whirr and Cloakroom, whom are both signed to the massive Run For Cover Records.
“Give in to Me” opens the record without a moment to catch a breath, comfortably switching between crunching riffs and bouts of slowing suspense. As dramatic as it is sounds, Walleater prove they have an affectionate talent at crafting tension and atmosphere in their songs such as the instrumental “Glow” that would not sound out of place on the soundtrack of a Hollywood-budget sci-fi movie.
A particular highlight of the record is fifth track “Swallow You”. The synergism between Superheaven-esque grunge melodies and harmonic vocals, Walleater provide an infectious song that will make it into many people’s ‘Songs of the Summer 2015’ playlist.
Walleater, for such a young band, have a clear artistic vision of what they want to sound like while being comfortable in their own skin. The record flows with the confidence in sound which many bands take years to progress towards. The two styles of alt-rock and playful pop moments sound too jarring to work, but it’s seamless in the way that it doesn’t feel forced. “Keep it Strange” ends on a sobering mood, pushing me to think of Hum’s ‘You’d Prefer An Astronaut’(1995); one of my favourite releases of that era.