Tapes 'N Tapes Hit the Pavement

By Bryan BorzykowskiThe critics are wrong ó Minneapolis indie rockers Tapes ín Tapes do not sound like Pavement. At least thatís what the legendary bandís drummer thinks. "We got to meet [former Pavement drummer] Bob Nastanovich in Nashville,Ē says Matt Kretzman, Tapes ín Tapesí keyboardist. "He said, ĎI really liked the record, itís good, but Iíve got to tell you, I donít really hear Pavement.íĒ

Hearing from a living, breathing member of Pavement that they sound nothing like their self-confessed idols was a sweet moment for Tapes ín Tapes, whoíve been compared to the band in nearly every review. Although Kretzman says, "itís flattering to be compared to a band you like, as opposed to a band you donít like,Ē he doesnít hear Pavement in his music either.

Kretzmen must be too familiar with his own tunes, and Nastanovich is likely being modest, because itís impossible to miss the Pavement references. The bands share the same minimalist indie rock production and singer Josh Grierís occasionally off-tune vocals sound eerily similar to Stephen Malkmusís warble.

But where Tapes ín Tapes come off the most like Pavement is in their songwriting methodology. Much like their heroes, Tapes ín Tapes sound quite conventional ó theyíre writing pretty straightforward pop songs ó but thereís a frantic drumbeat, an odd keyboard riff, or a weird song about Manitoba that messes with the standard formula.

"If something sounds just too straight ahead,Ē says Kretzmen, "then weíve got to fuck that up a little bit and make it more interesting. We kind of allow ourselves a little more freedom to make it not sound perfectÖ and it comes across a little more, like trains about to fall off the tracks.Ē
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Article Published In Aug 06 Issue