'Deluxe/Debris'- Tiny Magnetic Pets
Released August 25th 2017
1) Lost My Guiding Light 2) Semaphore 3) Radio On 4) Cold War Neon 5) Here Comes The Noise (Pink) 6) Here Comes The Noise (White) 7) All Yesterday's Tomorrows 8) Shadow Street 9) Cloud Sequence 10) Never Alone Tiny Magnetic Pets are surely more popular than ever before at present. The Dublin trio- comprising members Paula Gilmer, Sean Quinn and Eugene Somers- have not only been recently announced as the support act for twenty dates on synth pop pioneers OMD's upcoming U.K. and Irish tour, but have also just released their second album 'Deluxe/Debris' to much critical acclaim amongst reviewers and fans alike. And it is hardly surprising. The album itself appears to conceptualise a refreshingly optimistic future, with the Pets' typically warm yet pristine sound apparently representing the possibility of a world united by technology, yet still emotionally charged. Even if this particular concept is merely something completely outrageous- conjured up in the wandering mind of this wayward reviewer- however, the tracks are still seem bound together in some way. The primary reason for this is Paula Gilmer's light, crystalline, female vocal that provides a change from the deep, often over-powering vocal (think Phil Oakey, Gary Numan, Glenn Gregory) that we tend to hear on electronic records. This 'lighter' touch is particularly noticeable on opening tracks 'Lost My Guiding Light' and eleven minute epic 'Semaphore', the latter of which takes a while to get into its stride but soon picks up the pace, helped by one of many memorable lyric lines ('sing for me, I'm coming home') that can be found on the album. On the other hand, 'Deluxe/Debris' does also have its grittier moments. We are brought swiftly down to earth with the crunchy 'Radio On'- a homage to, unsurprisingly, the dying art of listening to the radio- and the almost-glamorous realism of the slightly more distilled 'Cold War Neon'. Intriguingly, there are also two songs on the album entitled 'Here Comes The Noise' (one the 'Pink' version, one the 'White') which rather ironically are the best representatives of just how diverse TMP can be; the first is very nearly a ballad, whilst 'White' is a sparkling, upbeat spiral into a Tubeway Army-esque demand to be listened to. The final part of the album sees TMP at their sparkling best, in particular on final track 'Never Alone' which has an eerie, nursery rhyme-like quality, and ends the album in a way similar to OMD's 'English Electric' ends (with the hypnotic 'Final Song') - something that is very unlikely to be a coincidence. The fact that electronic music fans will be able to recognise The Pets' influences isn't a bad thing though. The most blatant influence is certainly OMD, whose swirling synths and atmospheric ethereality, as well as some of their slightly odder musical components put to greatest use on their 1983 'Dazzle Ships' LP, are paid homage to throughout 'Deluxe/Debris'. Other obvious influences are Kraftwerk and Roxy Music with perhaps the latter being explained by the fact that the band's synth player and guitarist Sean Quinn was initially signed as a solo artist to Brian Eno/Roxy Music's 'EG' record label. Tiny Magnetic Pets, however, are about as far from as you can get from cheap rip-off merchants. Whilst 'Deluxe/Debris' has hints of the past glowing from within the tracks like patchy sunlight through clouds, it also looks to the future where the clouds have passed over, leaving us with crisp, sparkling electronic music that is as blissfully clear and enchanting as a blue sky on a summer's day. Watch them. If they get the reward they truly deserve for their music, their days of being a support act will soon be long gone...