Category: Tapes N’ Tapes

Review: Tapes N Tapes, Outside

The Minneapolis indie-rockers in Tapes ‘N Tapes were both the beneficiaries and victims of their own rapid ascent, riding a wave of breathless praise for their self-produced 2005 debut full-length The Loon to a deal with influential label XL and status as one of the year’s biggest buzz bands. The multitudinous Pixies and Pavement comparisons were a lot to live up to, but The Loon largely deserved them, with catchy hooks and jangly energy that kept the music constantly shifting in unexpected directions. That momentum dissipated with the disappointing 2008 follow-up Walk It Off, which gained something from Dave Fridmann’s slicker production, but squandered its promise on rambling, unfocused material.

Citing a desire to recapture the freewheeling spirit of earlier days, Tapes ‘N Tapes parted ways with XL and went back to its DIY indie roots for Outside, self-releasing the album. Musically, though, Outside mostly recapitulates Walk It Off’s sluggishness. Beyond the vivacious, offbeat jangle-rock of “Freak Out,” there’s far too much meandering and repetitive noodling, and little of the joyfulness that made songs like “Insistor” such fun. There are a few high points, including the building energy of “Outro” and the moody textures of “On And On,” the latter reminiscent of David Bowie’s Low. But overall, the slow pace only heightens the sense that there are too few exciting ideas in play; like a car trip across North Dakota, Outside takes a long time to get where it’s going, and doesn’t offer enough of interest along the way.

Originally published Jan. 11, 2011 on Read the complete article.

Interview: Tapes N’ Tapes

Minneapolis quartet Tapes ‘N Tapes garnered appreciation from the local music press when they self-released their terrific CD The Loon last November. But their fortunes took a sharp turn upward when several influential music bloggers championed them, catapulting them from a local up-and-comer to a national player. The Loon gets a nationwide re-release on XL Records this month, and the band appears on The Late Show With David Letterman July 25 before touring with The Futureheads through early August. The A.V. Club sat down with guitarist and frontman Josh Grier, keyboardist Matt Kretzmann, and bassist Erik Appelwick to talk about Tapes ‘N Tapes’ music and future, and how sometimes leaving your job for two months works wonders for your career.

Originally published July 19, 2006 on Read the complete article.

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