Tin Armor – Life of Abundance

Tin Armor coverQuestion 1: Do you like these lyrics from Ohio’s Tin Armor?

We’re living a life of abundance
the squalor of rentals aside
We cherish our things and live beyond our means
to the tune of our paychecks demise

We’re living a life of reluctance
the impulse under the influence aside
We hold on to our peace and we stay in our seats
and we haunt each other’s halls all night

Well they say one in hand is better than two beside
and most times it’s hard not to agree
But of my actions left aside
it’s just not alright that there are so many

Question 2: Does your collection of music include some of the following?

Cory Branan, Ben Folds, Drag the River, Drive By Truckers, The Weakerthans, Okkervil River, Armchair Martian, Wilco, Austin Lucas, Lucero.

If the answer to either or both questions is ‘yes’, the odds are good that you will enjoy Life of Abundance.

I’m well aware that this ‘review’ looks, well, pretty fucking lazy. Rest assured that I’ve been dwelling on this one for a while. My problem is that while I dig this record I’ve got nothing in particular to say about it. That’s a bit of a disappointment. The last time I went to an alt-country gig – bear in mind I live in the UK, too – it was an awesome experience. The night’s players mixed and matched and improvised and articipated; it was a thoroughly organic moment full of personality and uniqueness. Cory Branan bought my friends and I some shots. Austin Lucas wandered around through the audience whilst playing songs and made everything feel approximately 40,000% more special. Another friend made 50% of Drag the River play my favourite songs before I arrived at the show. A historical song that made me think and feel in a more powerful way than I recalled from recent memory. It was an event.

And all of those musicians and bands? Yeah, they’re okay on record. I listen to a bunch of alt country style stuff at home, but with the exception of Drag the River I don’t love any of it. It’s a live experience for me, which necessarily limits my understanding of it – because I live on the wrong side of the white European world. So I can’t talk about how this fits into the genre. And I like the record, but I don’t love it any more than I hate it, so I can’t introduce hyperbole or invective here to introduce a tragicomically strong opinion.

Nope. All I can do is say that this is pretty cool album. I dig it. It’s got moments of fun, of soulful sadness, of warmth that offer a sense of camaraderie, of love and sensitivity, of jaunty playfulness… you know. It’s a well-fleshed record; it’s broad in sentiment and broad in approach within its clearly defined style.

It’s a really good album. I can see people loving it. I can see them having a lot to say about it. I wish I was reading their thoughts about it. As it is, I’m not: I’m offering up an almost total lack of interesting opinion in the hopes of giving you enough tidbits that you either run a mile or go and form your own opinion. My recommendation is that you do the latter, because I’m pretty goddamn sure that you’ll find that a richer and more rewarding experience than reading this goddamn awful excuse for a record review.

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