The Loon (Ibid Records)

Tapes 'n Tapes 

The Loon (Ibid Records)

The Loon is right, and not the bird, either. And I see the high-jump kings with roadside stirrups on when I come back to meet the bear, explains singer Josh Grier on "In Houston." Crumple up lyrics like these with guitar that ranges between riffy fuzz and crystal ambience; synth that runs from fake xylophone to machine squelch; big, smacky drums; and vocals that quaver (but not from emotion), and you have what amounts to a '90s slack-psyche revival. "Cowbell," which contains no cowbell but does have a flamenco-ish riff, is as grooveful as the title suggests, and "10 Gallon Ascots," with its sleigh bells and a sickly tempo that builds to a fit, is as obscure as its title suggests. Bands are honored to be compared with their influences, so here's an honor for this Minneapolis band: Like Pavement and Built to Spill, Tapes 'n Tapes alternates between opening your mind and freezing it shut, drugging you down to a stupor and then making you want to dance. Whether you'd consider it as great an honor probably reflects your tolerance for mania.

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