Minneapolis quartet Tapes 'n Tapes was one of the first examples of both the "blog buzz" and "Pitchfork effect" phenomena — widespread online fawning made their 2005 debut, The Loon, an indie-rock success story. Now the band is back with the follow-up, Walk It Off. Over the phone from a tour stop in Florida, congenial frontman Josh Grier cheerfully commented on some recent reviews of the album:
Small combinations of songs seem like a mixtape mistake, clashing like plaid and polka dots . . . still, the album as a whole finds a strange homogeny, and Tapes 'n Tapes keep exploring hip, leaving everyone guessing as to whether they meant to make such a confusing outfit or the pieces were just on sale. (Billboard)
Well, it sounds to me like they don't necessarily vibe with albums where there's different styles going on. I have seen a few reviews where people say that, where people say we're basically ADD . . . I am kinda ADD in that I like to try a lot of different things, and if that means our albums come off as lacking direction, I dunno — it's just a personal preference. I'm not in any way trying to compare us to this, but look at [The Beatles'] the "White Album" — that album makes no sense if you're looking at it as, "What do these guys stand for?" But that's a record I love.
Tapes 'N Tapes
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Anyone hoping for the instant gratification of The Loon will be disappointed, as this album takes time to grow on you until it wraps you up in its cocoon of sounds and keeps you enshrouded there. (MusicOMH.com)
Wow, whenever I hear the word "cocoon," I think about that '80s movie with all the old people. It's kind of a nice feeling. It's great people can get wrapped up in the record. It's kinda funny to me that somebody is saying that this record is less immediate than The Loon, because I thought these songs were more immediate. Somehow I got them faster. I dunno, there's a million times weirder shit that we could be doing as a band.
Being famous for being famous in the blogosphere is an awful burden, and this underdeveloped Minneapolis quartet is staggering under it. This time, they've got Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann making everything sound grainy and distorted, but the only real change from their debut is that they're now imitating Modest Mouse more than the Pixies. (Blender)
Well, you know, to be totally honest about everything, when we came up with the song "Hang Them All," there was a moment where — and it happens almost all the time in our band, where we're like, "Oh, does this sound like that? No, it doesn't . . ." — but it kinda has a Modest Mouse angular, driving guitar line, I guess. But you gotta get over that. Every band has elements that sound like another band, so fuck it. Who cares? At least we're getting compared to bands we think are awesome. It could be Rush.