Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon

April 6th, 2006
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All Taped Up

Tapes ‘n Tapes is not the type of band who writes safe, formulaic songs. Sure, this unsigned band’s album The Loon has strong musical roots, but it’s the band’s uncontrollable urge to jackknife the formula and create songs with a new perspective amidst the inspiration.Unfortunately, almost every sound on The Loon is derivative. From Wire to Os Mutantes, Tapes n Tapes have a broad range of influences. Thankfully, the band knows how to take those influences and fuse them in such a way that it becomes completely fresh. The album’s most stellar track, “Insistor” is a melting pot of Soft Machine lunacy, twisted surf music and Frank Black vocal gymnastics. Melodies shift, drop out, and re-emerge anew creating a constant thrill ride for the listener. “Cowbell” is “Insistor’s” brash and gritty cousin. Here, the Brothers’ Tape employ minimalist indie pop peppered with fuzzed-out hooks and vivacious vocal clips; try and imagine Bloc Party if they listened to a little less Cure and more Violent Femmes. The direction is familiar but the way the band instills its raw, emotional personality makes it extremely unique. “10 Gallon Ascots” is a moody piece that alternates between a somber Doors-esque vibe, and a storm of overdriven, fuzzed out guitars. Through the combination of down-tempo jazz and out-of-the-blue fuzzed-out psychedelia comes a newfangled style that sounds original.

The Loon is an enjoyable album because Tapes ‘n Tapes understand the importance of incorporating surprises while harnessing everything that made their musical forefathers so compelling. In the end, the album is a colorful assemblage of well written delightfully skewed songs.

By Michael Feldman Posted in Reviews