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Gig Review: Tapes ‘n Tapes, Manchester Club Academy, 1st June 2008,

Tapes 'n Tapes @ Club Academy, ManchesterTapes ‘n Tapes were one of the most exciting discoveries we made back in 2006. Their debut album was full of ecclectic, driving indie rock that sounded like nothing else coming out of anywhere at the time. They were passionate, they were unusual and live they were a fury unleashed. When I heard their second album I was, to put it mildly, a little disappointed. Produced by the same guy who ruined Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s first work for an actual record label it seems where he took all of Clap’s melodies away and replaced them with an unlistenable mish mash, with Tapes he’d removed all of their ecclecticism, their personality and everything that made the first album unique in a bid to make it sound familiar and radio-friendly. All he ended up doing was stripping them of everything that made them the darlings of the blogosphere 2 years ago, blending them into all the nameless, faceless American indie rock that fills the gaps on college radio between songs by The Shins, The Decemberists and Spoon.

With their past live record to go on, however, we figured that the problem was in the production and live the new songs might reveal their inspiration and sound more like the old Tapes ‘n Tapes, the band that produced such a driving, catchy and totally out-of-the blue musical moment with The Loon. Sadly, we were very wrong.

From the moment they took the stage they oozed blandness and conventionality. Where they had been full of fire and energy two years ago, this time they barely moved much less emoted and song after song ran together like the not-even-exciting-enough-for-mass-consumption rejects from a playlist meeting for an American “modern rock” station, thrown in the recycling bin in favour of another Snow Patrol single.

Not only was the new stuff just as bad live and the band soul-crushingly mediocre, but they managed to take the best moments from the first album and tone them down, remove all their uniqueness and make them blend into a single, relentless assault of blandness. One guy and his mate danced at the front through the nonchalant procedures, until the band, 3/4 of the way in, chose to berate us for not dancing enough. I wanted to scream “Give us a reason to dance!” but held back. I also wanted to scream “Play ‘Insistor’ so we can fuck off home and get some sleep!” but thought that would be a step too far. When ‘Insistor’ finally arrived as the penultimate track it was a band going through the motions playing their hit. After a final song, The Ledge and I, both bored to tears, didn’t bother to find out if they’d come out for a encore. We went home, dejected.

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Insistor

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Demon Apple

Posted by JustHipper on 16th June 2008 at 7:43 pm | comments (5)
File under Gig Reviews,manchester club academy,mp3,Reviews,tapes n tapes.