Tapes ‘N Tapes – Walk It Off

Band: Tapes ‘N Tapes
Album: Walk It Off
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: XL

1. Le Ruse
2. Time of Songs
3. Hang Them All
4. Headshock
5. Conquest
6. Say Back Something
7. Demon Apple
8. Blunt
9. George Michael
10. Anvil
11. Lines
12. The Dirty Dirty 

I have to admit that reviewing this album was difficult because I read the brief opinion of Vice Magazine, who had voted it to be the worst album of 2008. As I attempted to be unbiased during my first listens, I must conclude that my opinion is much less severe than Vice‘s. The album greets you with an upbeat tempo with the song “Le Ruse” and I am not the fist to compare frontman Josh Grier vocals to those of David Bowie. The dreamy simplicity continues with the tracks “Time of Songs” and “Conquest” which sound like they could be playing during a scene in a movie where two awkward teens are having their first dance at a high school prom. While Grier’s vocal stylings remind us of Ziggy Stardust or channel Paul Banks of Interpol, there is a reason why he stays in the lower, creamy-sounding range as exhibited in the track “Headshock”. The track is harsh on the ears with a repetitive yelled chorus, and allows us to conclude that Tapes ‘N Tapes should embrace the way of the mumbling frontman. 

I was left feeling dissatisfied with the track “Say Back Something”, I kept waiting for a bass or keyboard line to kick in and take the song to a more dynamic level. When the song began, I had so much faith in the pretty lyrics and feel-good quality it exhibits, but there was no energetic driving force behind it. “Blunt” is the most distorted song of Walk It Off, using a vocal filter and ambient keys. I dig the experimental direction of the song, and I wish TNT returned to there more often. 

Tapes ‘N Tapes brings the psychedelic rock feel to their indie inspired tunes in this album with tracks like “Demon Apple” which begins with a bouncy rhythm a la Modest Mouse then transitions into a jam session-like groove. It seems the method TNT utilizes when writing a song is repeating a main guitar riff over and over and embellishing with other sounds. While the bands linear songwriting approach creates catchy and memorable ditties and fills a 12-track album, some songs become monotonous after the second reprise. Released April 8th, 2008, Walk It Off may have me partially disappointed, but a few of these tracks will still make it to some mix-tapes of mine. 

*Written By: Billy Table*
GRADE: 6/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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