Tapes 'n Tapes

The men of Minneapolis' Tapes n Tapes create an indie-rock mlange that recalls at least a dozen acts from the genre's past--and, relatively speaking, that's a good thing. Rather than aping a particular group, Josh Grier and company draw from oodles of inspirations, and if they don't quite individualize each note, their entertaining eclecticism marks them as more than mere impressionists.

The quartet's latest was recorded on the cheap and released independently before being picked up by XL--hence, its sound quality falls between that of a decent demo and a cell phone with a faulty speaker. Fortunately, the primitive production suits tunes such as "Cowbell," with its jittery guitar, martial rhythms and background singing that eschews harmony for enthusiasm. As for lyrics such as "Just hug my lips and say good lies/And know that I will be your bail bond," from "Insistor," they're preposterous in the best possible way. These guys may not be wholly original, but they've got good taste, a sense of humor and some exceedingly Loon-y tunes. That's all, folks.

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