Tapes 'n Tapes, White Denim

With Tapes 'n Tapes' sophomore full-length effort, Walk It Off, the band did and didn't hit the cursed slump.

The album, at first listen, seems to be more of the same—a brightly candy-wrapped study of the artists that, at one time, must have inspired Josh Grier and Co. beyond blogs and Internet hits. Like with 2006's The Loon, Walk can be catchy, dance-y, irreverent and a little bitter. With more listens, though, there seems to be a case of stunted growth; the album can't seem to capture the whirlwind mélange of Tapes 'n Tapes' stage performance.

That's the thing: Even before Human Giant boys Aziz Ansari and Jason Woliner gave T'nT their viral video blessing with the sketch "Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru" (filmed at the Pitchfork Festival), Tapes 'n Tapes had a buzz surrounding not only their successful debut, but also their live show. Reports from SXSW earlier this year found the band yet again enjoying certain applause—but alas, the hoots were prior to Walk It Off. As we get further from the release date, perhaps it will become clear if Tapes 'n Tapes' performances can add fuel to the smolder of a "grower" album, or if a weak-ish offering will snuff out audience energy. Gritty Austinites (and Rolling Stone's new music blog Breaking's "Breaking Artist" of January) White Denim opens and poses a worthy challenge to the headliners' showmanship.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin