It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since this Edmonton band’s jaw-dropping debut, Fake Tape. It was a hell of a calling card, subtly showing the many facets of the band, much like their precious-gem-referencing name.
Seemingly continuing a series, another tape has appeared, this one called the Blank Tape. Same uncluttered art with a simple “DM,” but vastly different from its predecessor. While Fake flirted with genre—from electronic pop to throwbacks to another era—Blank has the guys settling down on a sound.
As a result, it’s not as surprising, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to devour here. Honing in a kind of psych-y Britpop song suits them well—all fuzzy guitars, catchy melodies and vocal harmonies. It’s hard to emphasize how smooth this all is. It’s easy to imagine the band cranking these beauties out effortlessly.
The crown jewel of the four-song EP is undoubtedly “Acid Jungle,” wisely chosen as the collection’s single. Spacey sounds greet the beginning of the song as bright and sunny guitar work comes in, and the main vocals are sweet as honey. But don’t neglect the lyrical eloquence; phrases like “the modern winter waits and wonders why there isn’t snow” are exquisite to roll off the tongue.
“Little Lung” seems to draw some inspiration from the Beatles with just a bit more fuzziness, and the refrain of “Now I’ve only five leaves left” will take a long time to leave your head once in. “This Street Goes Straight Forever” tones things down just a tad, but playfully breaks up the music with a few music-less vocal parts. Finally, “Hark” adds some keys into the mix to for a psych-pop song to dance to.
Given how much the band flexed muscles on Fake Tape, it makes sense that they settled in a little bit on this one. Here’s hoping their next record continues to show off more glittering facets.
Top Track: “Acid Jungle”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)