The quirky, surf-influenced garage rock of Tapes 'n Tapes was hailed by Internet music bloggers in 2006, the year the Minneapolis indie rockers released their debut album, The Loon.
This follow-up disc is the quintessential sophomore slump. Like the songs on The Loon, these 12 tracks shift between fuzzy, muscular rock riffs ("Headshock") and big-beat garage pop ("Say Back Something"). But the ideas and production behind most of them come off as incomplete. There's no hook to hang your hat on, no memorable feel that lingers when the album concludes.
At their best, Tapes 'n Tapes has a knack for wrapping catchy pop chords in a blanket of rough-and-tumble garage rock. Midway through this effort, "Conquest" briefly reminds us of that, providing hope that Tapes 'n Tapes may one day deliver on the promise of their early work.