Tapes 'N Tapes ‎– The Loon

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Tracklist

Just Drums 3:44
The Iliad 2:15
Insistor 4:20
Crazy Eights 3:24
In Houston 4:04
Manitoba 4:12
Cowbell 2:33
10 Gallon Ascots 5:02
Omaha 3:32
Buckle 3:40
Jakov's Suite 4:37

Versions (9)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ibid0002 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album) Ibid ibid0002 US 2005 Sell This Version
WPCB-10004 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon (CD, Album) XL Recordings, Beggars Japan WPCB-10004 Japan 2006 Sell This Version
XLCD 202 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album) XL Recordings XLCD 202 Europe 2006 Sell This Version
XLCD 202 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album) XL Recordings, Soyuz Music XLCD 202 Russia 2006 Sell This Version
XLCD 202 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album) XL Recordings XLCD 202 UK & US 2006 Sell This Version
XLCD 202 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album) XL Recordings XLCD 202 Australia 2006 Sell This Version
XLCD 202 Tapes 'N Tapes The Loon(CD, Album, Promo) XL Recordings XLCD 202 US 2006 Sell This Version
none Tapes 'n Tapes The Loon(CDr, Album, Promo) Xl Recordings none France 2006 Sell This Version
XLLP 202 Tapes 'n Tapes The Loon(LP) XL Recordings XLLP 202 UK 2006 Sell This Version

Reviews

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ajfenwick

ajfenwick

May 9, 2015
referencing The Loon, CD, Album, ibid0002
What is the magic formula for bands named after musical apparatus that seems to have the same magnetic pull to punters that The Daily Mail has to Chris Morris, or Tom Hanks has to shit films? I don't know, but Stereolab, the Walkmen, TV On The Radio and Radiohead have just welcomed a new member to their furtive fold.

Of course it was software rather than hardware that has seen Minneapolis's Tapes 'n Tapes rise from bog to blog standard, with their youthful mugs and bedroom cultivated demos adorning the very hippest of digital journals and online radio stations from Rhode Island to Rotherhithe. With this band though it's less to do with the mythical powers of a name, and incessant html-coded Chinese whispers, and more to do with the simple fact that that they're just rather good.

Good, but nothing new. Tapes 'n Tapes wear a wide mash of influences on their scuffed sleeves - the various Pavements of 1980s lo-fi and indie, if you're asking. But this is not some populist pastiche, instead a genuinely new and interesting prospect, the trump card being that even after several listens of 'The Loon' it's nigh on impossible to work out whether they're being knowingly pretentious or totally uncool, in a cool kind of way.

One thing that is a definite however, is the boundless energy and playful enthusiasm that threads itself deeply through the album's eleven tracks. Sprightly opener 'Just Drums', with its quirky euphonium and whistle flourishes, features the sort of slanted guitars and off-kilter rhythmic schemes that the Pixies and Violent Femmes made their own, but manages to end up sounding like a slightly less-sexed Doors at the same time, and that can't be an easy feat to pull off.
Making use of the British Sea Power patented trick of fusing perfect pop with nature themed over-indulgences, 'The Iliad' veers off down an ethereal, occasionally synth-splattered road whilst still sounding like it could make the playlist on Holly Willoughby's spunk and gunk splashed iPod. Oh, the undignified joy of it all.

'Manitoba' follows in a similar fashion, sporting genuinely pretty guitar tinkles, the drums serenely waltzing across the floor, offering up a hand for the bass, and then, suddenly, a foot up into rockier terrains. The band choose introspection over in-joke on 'Insistor', where initially hushed vocals rise to meet the song's surging polka rhythm for a climatic chorus, a lakeside mile away from the casual scenic swing of 'Crazy Eights'. However, generally it's strictly strums-over-riffs, a philosophy imposed most herstituely on the cute retro-pop of 'Cowbell', frontman Josh Grier's Malkmusian quivering, disembodied snarl paving a path over a sweeping rhythm plucked straight from 'Brighten The Corners'.

It's easy to give something hyped a right royal dissing, but for Tapes n Tapes it's simply not. 'The Loon' retains a genuinely empathetic sincerity that deserves applause, but should be praised to a greater degree for bringing weird, left-of-centre indie back to the fore and giving it a fighting chance against the dreary footfalls of tension and release plied by the likes of Editors et al.