Posted by: will | August 2, 2006

Tapes ‘n Tapes…


Tapes ‘n Tapes “The Loon” (XL Recordings)

Buy it at Insound!

I relish slapping overly hyped bands back into reality. Unfortunately, Tapes ‘n Tapes is robbing me of that joy. Quite simply, The Loon deserves every bit of hype it has gotten. It’s an outstanding indie rock album that pays tribute to the past while being directly implanted in the present and all the while looking towards the future. The fact that The Loon is only the band’s debut is truly remarkable.

Album opener “Just Drums” starts things off on the right foot. The song’s hooks, like most of the material on The Loon, are downright sneaky. “The Iliad” sounds like a brighter version of Clinic. Actually, the xylophone, which is used quite extensively on The Loon, often recalls the sounds of Clinic. “Insistor” is wonderfully reminiscent of The Pixies. Vocalist Josh Grier sounds remarkably like the great Black Francis on this track. “Manitoba” has a Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown vibe with its slow buildup, longing lyrics and exciting closure. “10 Gallon Ascots” starts off relatively down-tempo before building into its ridiculously catchy chorus. “Omaha” is a song that gets stuck in your head as the lines are repeated over and over again. The Loon is just an album that is well beyond its collective years.

Lyrically, the band does have some room for improvement. The good news is that when songs are constructed this well and are this hooky, lyrics are the last thing that the listener is thinking about. Tapes ‘n Tapes are in a position that many bands have been in before. The band has released a promising and much hyped debut album. Will they fade under the pressure like so many bands before them? Judging on how mature the band already sounds on The Loon, I believe Tapes ‘n Tapes just might bypass any kind of career slump.

RIYL: The Pixies, Wolf Parade, Clinic


Tapes ‘n Tapes – Insistor (mp3)

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Cowbell (mp3)

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Omaha (mp3)


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