Gig Seeker Pro


Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Chart - Tiny Pictures Review"

Tiny Pictures is a pretty solid alt.rock record. Most of the songs sound fit for radio, possibly partly in thanks to the godlike hand of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and his 604 Records.

"Changes" is a guilty pleasure track, mostly because the lyrics are a little hillbilly and way more relatable than most of us would like to admit ("I've sipped red wine from a Dixie cup and I can't change.") Dixie cup, plastic cup, water bottle — we've all done it once or twice.

"Make Believe" emits a tremendous amount of anxiety, which may be why it was chosen as the first single, but it's hardly the album's best track. "Better Side Of Me" and "Man Overboard" are equal contenders as standouts, though any track would do well as a rock single.

There's a fair amount of variety on this album, since there's everything from chunky rock guitars to country and blues, but it stays very true to frontman Ian Thornley, who stays very true to Big Wreck. It's a very honest record that spends a lot of time in self-reflection without sounding whiney or pretentious. - Chart Attack


Thornley – Come Again – Road Runner - Released May, 2004
Thornley – Tiny Pictures – 604 Records – Released February, 2009



Unless you're Axl Rose, four years is a long time in music. And that's precisely how long it's been since Ian Thornley dropped his debut solo album on a public that has - in the intervening time - grown increasingly hungry for more. That's four years of false starts, shake-ups, breakdowns, and enough behind-the-scenes shenanigans to fill a best-seller. Among the fans, the frustration is palpable, and message boards teem with speculation, worry, and impatience. And Thornley himself - urgently dragging on a cigarette as he talks - is audibly chomping at the bit to finally bring the last half decade of foot-dragging to an end with his newest and, in his words, "ballsiest" album yet. To put it another way, HE REALLY WANTS TO GET THE THING OUT THERE... "I'm impatient, too," he says, with a heavy sigh. "It's been too long, and this record - we could have made this record two and a half years ago." "But," he reasons, "I guess at the end of the day I probably wouldn't have been working with Nick Raskulinecz if there hadn't been the wait. I got a great new friend out of it and I got a kickass record, made by a world class producer and engineer." Thornley and the auspicious Mr. Raskulinecz, the three-time Grammy winning producer of the Foo Fighters' One By One among other things, apparently found soul-mates or at the very least blood-brothers in each other's company, locked up together as they were for a month and a half at Toronto's Phase 1 and Lerxst Sound studios in early 2008. Thornley puts it down to a "like-minded musical nerdiness," but his description of their working relationship has a higher supernatural bent to it. "Everything became shorthand after a while," he says. "And it really got to the point where words were barely spoken. Just a sort of a nod, and a thing, and - 'Uh, that's not working, what about this?' And then we'd sort of come up for air and chat about what we were doing, and then dive back in..."

Thornely and Raskulinecz dug themselves deep into a single-minded pocket of classic sounds, surrounding themselves with vintage gear-stuffed road-cases and relying on an "impossible to play" '60s-era Martin 12-string as the primary instrument in establishing a chiming, full-blooded and luxurious album-wide substrate to Tiny Pictures. Then they brought in Nickelback's Daniel Adair for 11 tracks of sophisticated boom-boom. "Nick wanted a hard-hitting, fast-learning kind of guy who practices nine hours a day, and Daniel is certainly that," Thornley reports. "He knocked it out of the park in about a week and a half." During a quick sojourn in Nashville, they also nabbed the Black Crowes' Steve Gorman for a fragrant southern-infused power ballad called "Change". "He's just an incredibly vibey drummer," says Thornley. "It didn't sound like a song that belonged in an elevator any more. I started reaching for different notes from my voice, and I started throwing in these little George Harrison slide licks. None of which was on the demo." Like the sidelong reference to the former Beatle, the more Thornley reveals about the process, the more he reveals about the subterranean seams of rock history mined by the two unleashed fanboys as Tiny Pictures coalesced over those six weeks. Thornley points to Tom Petty's Wildflowers as an initial influence, and he seems to quiver with excitement when he talks about Raskulinecz's schooling at Sound City in LA - "I know how to get this drum sound," Raskulinecz told his elated partner - but there's so much more going on behind the grooves and between the tracks of Tiny Pictures. On the surface, it's digitally-buffed modern rock, fit for slotting into future-classic playlists. But Tiny Pictures is covered in what Thornley calls "fairy-dust," or the "subliminal hooks, bells, and whistles that help sustain a listener over a long period of time."

He cites Springsteen's Born to Run as the perfect example. And in trying to eliminate the "sterility" that Thornley feels undermined 2004's Come Again, the reborn rocker has gone for broke. It's there in the breakout Van Halenesque solo that comes screaming from the insistent toms and bass of "Man Overboard", or the peaty, Zeppelin III dobro embellishments of "This Is Where My Heart Is". "That's just one of those songs where I woke up at eight in the morning and it was already done, recorded and written by nine," Thornley chuckles. "I think it's a great escape from some of the other stuff, and I get to play pedal steel on there, which is not an easy instrument to play. I had to go online the day before we cut it. Nick was sick, so I was like, 'Okay I'm gonna figure out how to play this thing today!'" "All Fall Down" apparently emerged from the same roots-infatuated coordinates of the Thornley brain, and he gleefully cops to the song's conspicuous influences. "When I hang on that D chord, it's a direct rip from Zeppelin's 'Tangerine'," he smirks. "And I don't really care. And vocally I rip off Howlin Wolf in there. Colin Jame