13 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Minnesota’s Tapes ‘n Tapes released their debut album, The Loon, in 2006 to much critical acclaim. A band clearly well-schooled on two decades’ worth of indie rock’s crème de la crème, anyone with an ear for college radio took to their sound with delight. Two years later, detractors may feel the quartet has slipped into a bit of a malaise on Walk it Off, but others will find a more thoughtful, original, and focused band at work. Rather than evoking indie gods X, Y, or Z on any given track, the band cranks the edgier tunes with a steady hand all their own, and the more subdued numbers conjure more emotion. “Le Ruse” turns into a full swagger after a sputtering start, guitars fully ablaze, and “Blunt” is, ironically, a fuzzed-out assault of sharp angles and jagged edges. The antsy, nervous “Hang Them All” and “The Dirty Dirty” thrive on their own tightly wound energy; “Conquest” and “Headshock” take the edge off a bit with a softer gait, although a sort of yearning, emotional punch is visceral. There is plenty here to admire, and plenty of contemplative mood to get lost in. (The band also tied Walk It Off to a promotion for nationwide walks for breast cancer awareness in spring 2008.  Nice work.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

Minnesota’s Tapes ‘n Tapes released their debut album, The Loon, in 2006 to much critical acclaim. A band clearly well-schooled on two decades’ worth of indie rock’s crème de la crème, anyone with an ear for college radio took to their sound with delight. Two years later, detractors may feel the quartet has slipped into a bit of a malaise on Walk it Off, but others will find a more thoughtful, original, and focused band at work. Rather than evoking indie gods X, Y, or Z on any given track, the band cranks the edgier tunes with a steady hand all their own, and the more subdued numbers conjure more emotion. “Le Ruse” turns into a full swagger after a sputtering start, guitars fully ablaze, and “Blunt” is, ironically, a fuzzed-out assault of sharp angles and jagged edges. The antsy, nervous “Hang Them All” and “The Dirty Dirty” thrive on their own tightly wound energy; “Conquest” and “Headshock” take the edge off a bit with a softer gait, although a sort of yearning, emotional punch is visceral. There is plenty here to admire, and plenty of contemplative mood to get lost in. (The band also tied Walk It Off to a promotion for nationwide walks for breast cancer awareness in spring 2008.  Nice work.)

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About Tapes 'n Tapes

Minneapolis, MN, indie rock classicists Tapes 'n Tapes formed in the winter of 2003, when guitarist/vocalist Josh Grier (aka "Tapes 1"), bassist Matt Kretzmann ("'n") and guitarist Steve Nelson ("Tapes 2") began crafting a sound that harked back to the Pixies and Pavement and also recalled more contemporary bands like the Shins. Nelson left the band, with drummer Karl Schweitz becoming the band's second "Tapes"; this lineup recorded the Tapes 'n Tapes EP in early 2004, recording in a cabin in Wisconsin. After the EP's release, Tapes 'n Tapes played a string of gigs with I Am the World Trade Center, the Streets, Metric, and the Futureheads. Kretzmann moved to Seattle in summer 2004, and bassist Shawn Neary became Tapes 'n Tapes second "'n." The band went through more lineup changes: Schweitz moved to Madison, WI, early the following year, and Jeremy Hanson joined as Tapes 'n Tapes' new drummer. This version of the band recorded its debut album, The Loon, in summer 2005 with producer/engineer Erik Appelwick. Ibid Records released The Loon that fall; around that time, Kretzmann rejoined the Tapes 'n Tapes fold. Positive reviews of The Loon and the band's consistent gigging -- which included a winter 2006 East Coast tour and an appearance at that year's South by Southwest -- led to Tapes 'n Tapes signing with XL Records. Neary left the band late that spring, and Appelwick stepped in to become the band's extra "'n." XL re-released The Loon in summer 2006. In 2007, Tapes 'n Tapes recorded with producer Dave Fridmann at his Buffalo, NY studio; the band's second album Walk it Off arrived the following spring. For their third album, 2011's Outside, the band returned to their own Ibid imprint, recording the album in their hometown and having Peter Katis mix the results. ~ Heather Phares

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