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Tapes ‘n Tapes – Outside

February 13, 2011

[11th January 2011, Ibid Recordings]

Tapes n’ tapes are a pretty interesting band. They recorded their debut album in a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin with not even running water for company, and produced a fine example of truly original and weird alternative rock music in their debut album The Loon, released in 2006.
Walk It Off, the 2008 follow up to what had become one of my favourite albums of 2006, was a bitter disappointment. It’s sluggish pace and lack of the quirky rhythms that charmed me so much on The Loon resulted in a permanent move to the bench for this album.
So after a 3 year hiatus, Tapes are back with their third studio album, Outside. Can they re-ignite their dwindling flame?

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Badaboom

Well, to put it simply: no. Not for me, anyway. There are a few good songs, such as the driven first song, “Badaboom”, the lead single “Freak Out” and the chirpy “SWM” and “One in the world”, none of which wouldn’t be out of place on their first album. “Nightsong” is suitably dark and the gloomy horns add a lot to the song, but it’s just not capturing my attention. Songs like the lifeless “On and On” literally do drag on and on, and everything else is just middle of the road. Even the good songs are less interesting, unique and enjoyable than I believe Tapes ‘n Tapes are capable of.

Tapes n’ Tapes – One In The World

The band have moved away from the (failed) attempt at psychedelic rock they tried with Walk It Off, but have been unable to recapture the originality they found with The Loon. Perhaps they tried to amalgamate the two. I’m sorry tapes and tapes, your live show at The Grog Shop (back in 2007) was awesome, but I don’t think I’ll be listening to this album any more.

However, I would highly recommend you have a listen to The Loon!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jouliejools permalink
    February 13, 2011 12:24 pm

    Is it the new style of TWLT ? Speaking ill of artists? I like it though! And I reckon you are kind of right about the new album, from what I listenned to so far.. What a pity, really!
    Better to say it twice, have a listen to The Loon!

  2. Chris Bingo permalink
    February 14, 2011 7:54 pm

    I’ll be honest, I quite like what I’ve heard from the new album more so than the two or three old album tracks I found on youtube. But saying that, they sound like a dozen other bands I could name and I guess if you were so keen on their story and their originality, then I can imagine this album would be pretty frustrating.

  3. Robbie Bizzle permalink
    February 17, 2011 9:15 am

    I was a huge fan of tapes ‘n tapes back when they released The Loon. Just a few months after the album release, when I was suitably smitten with it, their tour passed through Cleveland, and I was suitably impressed by their live performance of such strange songs. I think this can be a problem for artists, not because their albums are not musically solid, but because people become so wrapped up in one sound that they don’t want to hear it change, and pretty much anything they realise would not be good enough (even if they did make a similar sounding album, they would be slated for that!). I do like a few songs off this album (like the ones I posted above), and will probably keep listening to it, but I stand by my review: the originality I loved them for has gone, and this is very disappointing!

  4. j-diz permalink
    February 26, 2011 11:19 am

    From the looks of it you seem spot on – i liked the loon a fair bit but i never listened to their second album. The songs you put up from their latest one don’t seem bad or anything, but like you say they are more run of the mill than their earlier stuff. Even though you have put a dampener on them, i still might give the album a couple of listens as I have a feeling their new stuff might be “grower” material.


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