Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tiny Masters of Today

Step aside, Hannah Montana. Kid rock has found a new home on the recently released album "Bang Bang Boom Cake," by the low-fi wunderkinds Tiny Masters of Today. And when I say wunderkinds I don't mean fresh-faced and just graduated from college. I mean fresh-faced-until-they-hit-puberty and not-quite-graduated-from-junior-high. The brother-sister duo of Tiny Masters of Today, Ivan and Ada, are 13 and 11, respectively, and these punk revivalists are not only signed with indie label Mute, but they have David Bowie's seal of approval (the Duke called their music "genius").

With no song clocking in at over three minutes, TMOT's debut is loud, raucous punk-rock that embraces its influences while maintaining appropriately youthful lyrics. Punk staples such as the Ramones can be clearly noted as the base upon which TMOT model their tunes, in structure as well as a generally anarchist theme, as seen in the anti-Bush ode, "Bushy." On the majority of their album, though, Ivan and Ada stick with simple and ornamental lyrics, serving only as tidbits to yell and assert their ability to rock. The siblings are neither wordsmiths nor maestros, and they don't pretend to be. However, what they lack in chops they make up in energy. Each song is as boisterous and blusterous as the next, with crunching guitars and frizzy yelps that bleed and fuzz into each other with a raw home-taped aura.

Despite the fact that Ivan and Ada could carry the album themselves, they enlisted a few alternative A-listers to help them out on "Bang Bang Boom Cake." The Moldy Peaches's Kimya Dawson donated her utterance to two anthems, including the anti-brand "Trendsetter," in which the Peach chants of the foibles and wrongs of following the crowd. This piece in particular seems geared toward the impressionable classmates of the Tiny Masters. Other guests stars include Karen O and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gibby Haynes, and Fred Schneider. Each of these rock stars of their own rite seem to recognize and respect the Tiny Masters's talent and potential, and each gives their blessing through their cameo.

While their young age could seem like a gimmick, the sibling's attitudes and energy prove that they are more fresh than forced, and one never feels the sense of a show-biz parent by their shoulder. "Bang Bang Boom Cake" is a fantastic punk-rock debut, from the first yelp to the last power chord, and if, like fine wine, these kids grow better with age, then we have a great future in store for rock n' roll.

Thanks for reading this. It is a semi-draft, and I'm looking for suggestions to fix the opening paragraph. Thoughts?


Karen said...

I am impressed. I love to hear when young people have a dream and actually do something to achieve it. Best wishes to you both and I hope that you have a long life of music ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

Works for me.....

Sarah Yost said...

I like the opening paragraph. It's sassy as are you and your writing.