Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jumping On The Bandwagon

Calum Marsh

I'm not one to get caught up in the euphoric dizzy of band-hype, but for up-and-coming indie rockers Tapes 'n Tapes, I'm maybe willing to make an exception (but just maybe). Now, if you read basically any other music blog on the internet (I won't hold it against you if stick exclusively to ours), you're probably wondering one of two things: A, what's with all the fuss over Tapes and B, why are you so late to report on this? The answer to the latter is obvious: we're too cool for all that hype. Actually, no, I just plain managed to go without sitting down and listening to them until just now (thanks, Jon, for getting me to do so).

As for the first question, I'm not so sure how to sufficiently explain just how damn good Tapes 'n Tapes are without just jumping on the ol' indie-band wagon. Nobody likes to believe hype, and as much as I'd love to call these guys overrated and move on, I can't deny their delectable goodness. Seriously, this is a straight-forward case of a group who is one Pitchfork-rave away from being the next Arcade Fire or Wolf Parade (and, judging by the near-perfect track review a couple of weeks ago, this big break could any second now).

Okay, so they're awesome, we've established that. But what are they like? That's where it gets kind of tricky. Let me try and walk you through it: You could probably slap on the 'indie rock' label, but it's like lumping Modest Mouse or Wolf Parade in that category: sure, it fits, but it doesn't seem adequate. Their style is fairly straight-forward, but they do it so well that the quality of execution greatly outweighs the lack of all-out originality, which often works out much more nicely than wild experimentation. That being said, they still don't really sound like anybody else (their site bio affirms that "by altering hit records ever so slightly and plagerizing great works . . . the collective developed a sound wholly of their own").

As much as I keep drawing parallels between the recent success of bands like Wolf Parade with the tentative success of Tapes 'n Tapes, the similiarity ends there. Generally normal yet genuinely weird, excitingly original yet strangely familiar, it seems that the only thing anyone can be sure about with regards to Tapes 'n Tapes is that they're one hell of a good group. Confused? Don't worry, one listen and you'll know exactly what I mean. Trust me when I say that the music speaks for itself (ironic, considering how much I keep blathering on about it), and that, in less time than you might think, you and every other indie kid on your block will know Tapes 'n Tapes.

Key thing to remember: Tapes 'n Tapes' debut LP, The Loon, was released sometime late last year. Why the hell didn't it get on anybody's Top Ten list? Nobody had heard of them yet. I'd wager we were all still too caught up clapping our hands, saying yeah, while marching down the street with the Wolf Parade to notice this other out-of-nowhere indie gem. I can't wait until December 2006, when bloggers try and justify counting The Loon as a 2006 release. Or, who knows, maybe by the year-end Tapes will have skyrocketed to super stardom and will have cranked out a couple major label records. You never know . . .

Tapes 'n Tapes - Insistor
Tapes 'n Tapes - Omaha
Tapes 'n Tapes - Cowbell
Tapes 'n Tapes - 50s Parking
Tapes 'n Tapes - Beach Girls
Tapes 'n Tapes - Icedbergs
Tapes 'n Tapes - Just Drums
Tapes 'n Tapes - Manitoba

Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon

Comments on "Jumping On The Bandwagon"


Anonymous Jim said ... (5/2/06 8:42 am) : 

A great band, only heard a couple of songs until this post so cheers for posting a few more,maybe I'll manage to play them on my student radio show.


Anonymous Jon said ... (5/2/06 3:17 pm) : 

Thanks for giving me some props Calum. I won't even know what to do with all the scene points this is bound to get me ;).

On a more serious note (if I'm capable of such a thing), I just want to say that this band deserves every good review that has come their way.

In fact, I predict that Tapes 'n Tapes (along with Islands) will be the talk of 2006. They'll become so successful that eventually it won't be cool to like them anymore. Until that day comes; I'm gonna put Insistor on repeat until my ears bleed.


Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (5/2/06 3:24 pm) : 

I'm adding voxtrot to that list, tho I know they lose several Calum points for not being expirimental.


Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (5/2/06 4:47 pm) : 

I agree, Voxtrot and Islands are bound to do big things this year. And although Voxtrot aren't doing anything crazy, I still dig it (same goes for The Like Young, but that's another story altogether).


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