Tin Activity

Seemingly defunct experimental rock quintet Tin quietly came out of hiding to release their long-rumoured new album, and Activity surely was worth the intriguing wait. Based out of Guelph, ON, Tin absorb tenets of jazz and improvised music to create an electronic ambient sound where hazy, disembodied voices add as much texture as any of their reconfigured instruments. The most obvious influence on the band is still Tortoise, from whom they’ve learned that found sound pastiches can almost always cohere when mixed with powerful, off-kilter rhythms. The lesson is evident on captivating songs like "Necking” and the playfully mixed "Percolating,” which also seems to nod to Torngat. The allusions are generally perfunctory, however, as one function of Tin is about discovering new musical paths and patiently sussing out their merits. "Swimming,” for example, slowly builds to a climax of crashing cymbals and electric guitar accents, and the journey seems completely natural. Even as songs like "Growing” delve into the same dreamy realm as Caribou, they quickly slip out of one mode and into another. Surprising shape shifters, Tin have unassumingly composed an understated masterwork with Activity. (Burnt Oak)