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DLC Week of 8/24: Body Thief and Tiny Moving Parts

The fusion of technicality and emotion is on full display with both Body Thief “Makeshift Vehicles” and Tiny Moving Parts “Medicine.” You don’t wanna sleep on these electrifying musical performances debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store.

The Body Thief track, “Makeshift Vehicles” from the 2022 LP, Every Ending, finds the ambitious D.C.-area trio firing on all cylinders. From the opening – a repeating percussive hiccup, joined by clean guitar strumming – it’s clear that there is creative musicianship at work. 

At 16 seconds in, Dani Hawkins lends his smooth, pure vocals to the proceedings supported by an insistently plodding root-note bass line (is it Sebastian Ramos or Greg Chipkin on the four-string? You’ll have to check the band out live for the answer, as both handle bass duties throughout Every Ending), chirping synth, and Ramos’ precise stickwork behind the drum kit. The chorus then reveals itself at the 52-second mark, with the group really opening up the sonic presentation to arena-worthy levels. It’s truly like switching from black & white to technicolor – and that’s not even touching upon the instantly hooky, infectious nature of the vocal melody. About 30 seconds later, “Makeshift Vehicles”’ bridge inserts aggressively angular guitar into the mix, to great effect. These guys are clearly informed by some of the hometown influences that have defined the D.C. scene since the early ‘80s, but are by no means bound to any restrictions implicit in the post-hardcore aesthetic or subculture. This is music that is at least as much about sprawling melodies and ambient soundscapes as it is about anger and rebellion.

Lyrically, the track is contemplative, wistful, and defiant in equal measure. “Music in general has always been a coping mechanism for me,” Chipkin says. “Writing music is a strong outlet for all of us in the band, especially when we are feeling down or going through tough times. And so, I also get a cathartic experience, or a freeing feeling in a similar way – just from writing the music, and hoping that it will have an impact on anybody… even just one person.”

By the time the cut screeches to a halt – all the while amping up the emotional intensity with layered vocals and increasingly complex, aggressive drums – at just under four minutes long, it’s pretty much a sure thing that “Makeshift Vehicles” will have had an impact on *you.* Get ready to be amazed!

Tiny Moving Parts, the Minnesota-based, self-proclaimed “emo revival family band” – 

brothers William (drums) and Matthew (bass, vocals) Chevalier and their cousin Dylan Mattheisen (vocals, guitar) – deliver a potent emotional left-hook with their single, “Medicine” from the 2019 Breathe album. Unfiltered vulnerability and open-wound level intensity abound, as the group dives into the depths of the human experience, mining concepts of self-discovery, pain, and healing.

Musically, as soon as the opening guitar riff kicks in, the track is on fire, setting an energetic tone that instantly draws listeners in and doesn’t let up for a minute. Twinkling guitar arpeggios sit alongside rapid, complicated drumming – a unique sound that balances the emotional weight of emo with the technical precision of math rock. Honestly, musical genres and sub-genres – even those embraced by Tiny Moving Parts, themselves – are sort of misleading. To my ears, this is a “power trio” in the truest sense, with equal emphasis on each word in that term. Instrumentally, these dudes are absolute beasts. The interplay between lead and rhythm guitars creates a rich texture that adds depth to the composition, while the nimble drumming and pulsating bass provides a solid foundation for the song’s ever-shifting dynamics. Mattheisen, in particular, shines – if only because he’s playing those complex guitar lines (check out his solo at 2:05 – more finger-tapping acrobatics than most of what passes for “metal” these days!) while *simultaneously* handling the demanding half-sung/half-screamed vocal duties. 

Those vocals are in many ways the centerpiece of the song with lyrics delivered with fervent sincerity. As previously outlined, there’s a lot of emotion being expressed in the track’s catchy as heck melody – much of it conveying a sense of optimism and hopefulness in the face of despair. Anxiety and heartbreak abound, but all is not lost amidst such intense personal struggle. Per Mattheisen, “’Medicine’ is about everything around you falling apart. When people come and go in a lifetime, I try to focus on the happiness and guidance they’ve provided me instead of the sadness of them leaving.”

A positive spin to somber situations – hey, you get an uplifting motivational message alongside this high-octane blast of emotive hard rock! Welcome to your new favorite song.

Body Thief “Makeshift Vehicles” and Tiny Moving Parts “Medicine” are both featured in the Season 33 Pass. Grab each today and enjoy the full season of DLC! They can be yours for $1.99 each.

·  Body Thief – “Makeshift Vehicles”

·  Tiny Moving Parts – “Medicine”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 8/24: Body Thief “Makeshift Vehicles” and Tiny Moving Parts “Medicine”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, August 24th.