Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk It Off
Record Label: XL Recordings
Release Date: April 2, 2008
The semi-pretentious experimental/indie band Tapes 'n Tapes out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that gained much internet praise from the music blog community throughout the past few years, mainly in part to the cult following of their first album, 2005's The Loon. Their second studio album entitled Walk It Off was released by XL Recordings on April 2, 2008 and produced by David Fridmann (Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Phantom Planet).
How is it?
Upon first listen of Walk It Off, I honestly thought I had this group figured out, but I was wrong in so many ways. The more I listened, the more it appeared to me how bland and dry this album really is. Tapes 'n Tapes have spent way too much time getting that distorted and coarse sound down to a science while actually neglecting the music itself. Repeating little one liners throughout the majority of an album is a nice way to fill the blank void that would fall in certain songs, but definitely not the way to live up to your “blog hype.” Dry vocals throughout the majority of this sophomore attempt don't help make things any more explicable either. "Simplistic" is really a good word to describe the effort that Tapes 'n Tapes have put into their second full length. While most of the album falls into this predicament, there are a few bright spots on the album. The song “Demon Apple” is very solid in virtually every aspect. The song begins with a memorable guitar part that smoothly brings the listener into the vocals, while the style that frontman Josh Grier uses is excellent, and dare I say catchy. Throughout the last thirty seconds of the track there is an admirable little breakdown which seems to be the perfect way to conclude. All this track ends up doing is setting the listener up for a fall once again as the album continues forward. The band then attempts to slow things down with their ballad like track "Anvil"; the title describes the song very well - t is a perfect metaphor for the violent fall that the album takes you on as the listener approaches the end of the journey.
What Tapes 'n Tapes has completed with Walk It Off is an album full of loose ends. While it isn’t quite disastrous, the band needs to swallow their pride and work on making an album that doesn’t try too hard to revolutionize anything. With a little work and a fresh mindset, Tapes 'n Tapes could one day live up to all the hype they have received within the past couple years. Until then? They just need to Walk It Off and go back to the drawing board.