Show Review: Tapes 'n Tapes 9/19 @ Brillobox
This past Monday, I did something that I rarely do. I blindly attended a show based on word of mouth. Friends of mine often recommend bands for me to check out. While I do appreciate the effort, it’s become apparent that just because someone tells me they think I would like a particular band, that doesn’t mean I will. I’d heard of Tapes ‘n Tapes off and on for the past few years. I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head any songs they’ve released, but I decided to go by the recommendations of my musical chums and check them out. I also decided to go into the experience without listening to any of their music in advance. I was prepping myself to be blown away. It’s always a delight to experience a band for the first time and have an incredible experience. Disappointingly, that was not so much the case.
There have been plenty of bands that have grown on me. I remember hearing Passion Pit for the first time and absolutely hating the lead singer’s voice. I’ve disliked albums by bands that I love only to have them on repeat a few months later. I’m open. I try to get into shit if I think it’s worth getting into. The relevancy of Tapes ‘n Tapes was quite apparent from the start. I’d walked into a room filled with people over thirty, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was a surefire indicator of what was to come. If I wanted to sit around and reminisce about music I enjoyed 10 years ago, maybe I would have been more into the show. If I wanted to hear the band that would be Kings of Leon on training wheels, I would have loved it. I went into the experience with no expectations and left with nothing more than less money in my pockets and a serious buzz induced by the notorious Brillobox bartenders, who I’m convinced are surely trying to kill me. In the words of my concert buddy, “You need a chaser for this shit.” -regarding vodka sodas. The mixed drinks there are really a blessing and a curse, depending on what you have to do the next day.
Without being too harsh, I’d like to recap what I thought of the band. They weren’t terrible. I just found them to be all over the place. I don’t think they’ve refined their sound enough to reach a higher level of fame than they’ve already achieved, but then again, they were popular about six years ago. They’re described as indie rock, neo-psychedelia, experimental rock and college rock. I’d describe them as a mix of every tired nineties and early two-thousands musical cliche rolled into one band. Here are some of the things I wrote down: Monster Mash, AFI, high school cover band, Guster, old bad 90s alt, Conor Oberst trying to be a shitty early two-thousands metal band, sounds like the Gin Blossoms, Bon Jovi and Sleater Kinney with dudes singing. That about sums it up.
I’m sure, as the norm, that many will be upset by my less than raving review of the show. I’d like to remind you of my thoughts on the elitist mentality that surrounds much of the underground music scene here in Pgh. I’m not trying to do that. I’m just trying to poke fun at a band that was marginally popular in the last decade that I decided to go see on a whim. There’s tons of them, and there’s really no harm in it. Tell me you wouldn’t have something smart to say if you felt this way too. And so, I declare Tapes ‘n Tapes about as irrelevant as the medium their name refers to. If you’re still into recording songs from the radio onto tape, this band’s for you.