After hearing wave after wave of hype on the Minneapolis-based group Tapes 'n Tapes, I finally got my first opportunity to see what they are all about first hand. The verdict? They were everything they were hyped up to be, and then some. Frontman Josh Grier and his fellow noisemakers came to Austin ready to kick ass, which they did in fine form.
The noise this quartet is the product of a mountain of diverse influences, from the noise-pop of Archers Of Loaf to the spastic rock of the Violent Femmes. If Frank Black and Stephen Malkmus sat down for drinks and decided to start a band together, Tapes 'n Tapes is probably what their collaboration would sound like.
Playing plenty of rock gems from their 2005 release The Loon, they rocketed through "Just Drums", "Cowbell" and several others. Their energy was endless, as was the attention they captured from the packed space. What impressed me was the band's ability to bounce between somewhat melancholy passages that erupted into distorted rock goodness.
Tapes 'n Tapes also give band nerds a glimmer of hope that someday they too might be cool. Their second to last song, to which I do not know the title, involved the keyboardist/tamborine/all-around dance dude picking up a euphonium and blasting out some noise. If you have no idea what a euphonium is, then you obviously were not a band nerd, so good for you, but I certainly was.
Tapes 'n Tapes kept the quality control set high here at the Levi's/FADER Trading Post.