Review of Cowbell Single by Tapes N Tapes

Tapes N' Tapes
Single Review

Tapes N Tapes Cowbell Single

Four-piece Minneapolis based band Tapes n' Tapes are in the middle of a mammoth tour that takes them from Sydney to Oxford (and most places between) in just over two months. They have gradually been getting more and more exposure, playing with the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads. Radio 1 has got hold of them and they have received rave reviews from NME and Rolling Stone to name but a few.
In a word, these guys are going to be big, and as cynical a reviewer as I can be, from the two singles I have heard: I think they deserve it.
There is an urgency and passion to Josh Grier's Frank Black-esc vocals that draws you in and leaves you hanging on his every word, even if they are often somewhat incomprehensible and enigmatic;

'I've been a better lover with your mother' he snarls in there new single Cowbell.

Tapes n' Tapes brand of experimental and unpredictable indie have been compared to Pavement as well as Wire and The Pixies by fans and journalists. As with their last single 'Insister', 'Cowbell' drives joyously forward with a sliding, pumping base line and up tempo, punchy guitar riffs that fly all over the place. The chorus is both edgy and catchy, with simultaneous harmonies over the same vocal line adding power and immediacy.
The song builds in passion and tempo as it goes on, continuing to morph bit by bit as it does so, so that even repetitions within the song don't seem too hackneyed.

The song comes to an end with a triumphant drum roll and you feel, although you pretty much had no idea what the song was actually about, that you were 'with' them, that they were surely saying something of importance. Perhaps after a few too many listens this song could become tiresome, but for now it remains a vibrant and exhilarating listen.

Annabelle Butterworth

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