Tapes 'n Tapes Walk It Off

Tapes 'n Tapes Walk It Off
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the best albums require repeat listening before they come throbbing into your consciousness and eventually hit the jackpot. Tapes ‘n Tapes’ debut, The Loon, was one of those rare belters — the manic glory of their heavily Pavement-indebted slant-edged rhythms and cut-and-splice lyrics only unfurling fully after much deciphering on long bus journeys and bedroom study. The weight of that hyped album bears heavily on the Minneapolis quartet’s follow-up. While the connection with the sweaty vigour of their live appearances is more apparent here, Walk It Off lacks The Loon’s infectious "Cowbell” or jittery "Just Drums.” The influences (Pixies and Malkmus) are still ever-present but owing to Dave Fridmann’s production, everything is much dirtier sounding. Standout moments like single "Hang Them All” and its scummy album follower, "Headstock,” are all too few and far between however. It all makes you wonder if The Loon was in fact some kind of happy recording studio accident. Then again, who knows? Five more listens and Walk It Off might be the best album we’ve heard in same number of years. But probably not. (XL)