The opportunity to review an unsigned band as well developed as This Is Me Smiling is a pleasure seldom afforded any critic. I can easily say that without a doubt TIMS (This Is Me Smiling) has the raw talent necessary to contend with any of today’s progressive indie-rock bands. Their self released, self-titled debut album exhibits incredible depth and manages to find the perfect ground between obscure rock genres and a polished pop sensibility. If the name TIMS seems vaguely familiar it could be the result of their appearance on Epitaph’s most recent installment of their long-running compilation series, Punk-O-Rama. The track, "Mixin’ Up Adjectives", has been compared to likes of Ben Folds due in part to the rich piano melodies provided by the band's Sheldon Miller. But the album as a whole comes across more as a hybrid between OK Go and early Phantom Planet. The album includes thirteen tracks recorded in the band’s hometown of Chicago and each song, whether upbeat or down tempo, has an almost melancholy series of chord progressions that flow seamlessly in an organic fashion. Unbelievably catchy hooks draw the listener in with each progressing song, and a series of dramatic accents are attained by piano work worthy of Queen. In addition to the awesome instrumentation on the album, the breezy vocals of Dan Dusznski and Sheldon Miller come together to help create a truly memorable experience. I expect this band to be signed any day now and anticipate the full release of this album to follow shortly thereafter. You can, however, by a copy of it here right now.
This Is Me Smiling