Tapes n Tapes keep it short at the Dise

A review of Tapes 'n Tapes at the Paradise Rock Club on February 24, 2009

, Staff Writer

All we got Tuesday night from Tapes ‘n Tapes was an hour, and though it was an hour packed with a good number of songs, it paled in comparison to the band’s past visits to the Paradise. While there were a lot of good things, there just weren’t enough to make up for the short set.

Things started out just fine with some loud noises leading into the instrumental rock out and epic guitar scrawl of "Jakov’s Suite", a song that would typically be billed as a show closer but worked surprisingly well kicking off the night. "Hang Them All" from the band’s sophomore album Walk It Off kept the energy high with it’s big chorus, and things were looking pretty good for the Minnesota boys.

Drummer Jeremy Hanson was the most impressive member, nailing complex and unorthodox rhythms on nearly every song, but lead singer and guitar player Josh Grier was a close second, and the two combined for several excellent drum and strum combos, especially on "Conquest".

"10 Gallon Ascots", a standout track from The Loon, was spot on but showed the weakness of the new material in comparison. "Headshock" followed and while it’s 12/8 feel was pretty cool, the song itself just isn’t one of the band’s best. "In Houston" is, though, and the uptempo version featuring an ending pushing triple time updated the tune in a way that worked.

It seemed that every time the band would catch some momentum with a song from The Loon a song from Walk It Off would take it back down a notch. A stretch that included a tight "Cowbell" and a frenetically drummed "Insistor" helped keep things high, and "The Dirty Dirty", with it’s funky funky beat, finally stood up alongside it’s debut brethren as a worthy song.

"Manitoba" came in two parts, the first solid, the second destructive and covered in guitar fuzz. Grier still posesses the world’s greatest distortion pedal, although he used it a bit more judiciously this time around, much to my dismay. "Just Drums" closed out the set and included a brief drum solo thrown in for Hanson to show off a bit more.

Tapes ‘n Tapes might not play encores, but with a better paced set they most definitely could have sustained over an hour of music. While it is generally accepted that The Loon surpasses Walk It Off, there are still plenty of good songs on the latter. Or the band could go the opposite direction and band out a completely kick ass 40 minute set as an opening band on a bigger indie tour. Right now they are about an album away from finding their niche, and it showed on Tuesday night.

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