Tapes N’ Tapes
The first of the blog-rock superstars, Tapes N’ Tapes is just as noteworthy for its gradual build into the public’s conscious as its infectious music. Starting as a bedroom-based operation, the band found a rabid following through constant coverage on several key MP3 blogs. The resulting hype has propelled its debut album, The Loon, to the stuff of indie-rock mythology and has left major record labels once again scratching their heads. It’s easy to see what propelled the interest in the band. With indie-rock’s massively saturated scene, it takes a certain element to lift a head above the sea of off-kilter riffs and Chuck Taylors. With Tapes N’ Tapes, the key is an almost overwhelming flood of influences and ideas. Each track cites more obscure pieces of rock music history than an under-sexed record store clerk. While this doesn’t usually lend itself to a band forming its own identity, Tapes N’ Tapes pulls it off through the sheer volume of tips of the hat. From Os Mutantes to Modest Mouse, Pavement to Jonathan Richmond, everything is woven together to form a new whole out of borrowed pieces. One of the more charming records to be released this year, The Loon is a much-needed example of how sometimes it’s still just about the music.