Geodesic Dome Piece is the new album from California’s THE BLANK TAPES. Featuring eleven tracks of stoned-out rock’n’roll bliss, this is the group’s newest full length record since the breakout release Vacation. Recorded in San Francsico, this record riffs on the City’s rock’n’roll legacy and favorite emerald herb. These tracks may take you high, and they may make you low, but ultimately beg one crucial question—Do You Wanna Get High? If the answer is yes, drop the needle in the groove and float downstream to the tunes of Geodesic Dome Piece, For fans of Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Big Star, and altered states of consciousness.
The Blank Tapes – Geodesic Dome Piece (Royal Oakie Records, 2015) Review
Anyone wanna go back in time? Back in time to the future that is… Yeah, well The Blank Tapes can make that happen for ya. Geodesic Dome Piece is the latest offering in an incredible back catalog of releases that span more than a decade at this point. Beginning with the aptly titled “Way Too Stoned” Geodesic Dome Piece is perhaps The Blank Tapes greatest offering yet, sprawling psychedelic wizardry with airtight construction and arrangement immediately setting a benchmark for everything else dropping in 2015. “Oh My My” quickly follows on its’ heels as things start to get a little stranger, more open ended and unhinged… The contorted strings that drip and strain behind falsetto backups on the chorus are incorrigibly catchy, lodging “Oh My My” in your brain like the most wonderful tumor in history! The funky repetitive bassline of “Buff” reminds me of prime era Beck, tightly wound sound unreeling like thread from a spool into wave after wave of brain decimating noise! The completely ridiculous solo that ends “Buff” and fades into “Magic Leaves” is one of the best moments on Geodesic Dome Piece, lightning captured in a bottle. “Magic Leaves” is like walking into a jungle of alien sounds and noises, utterly disorienting and yet somehow exotically intoxicating and extremely interesting. Pieced together from a dense patchwork of layered sounds and instrumentation, the vocals hold “Magic Leaves” together and lay a yellow brick road to the Wizard’s City leading the listener to the completely bizarro “For Breakfast”. The farther you travel into the universe that is Geodesic Dome Piece the stranger and more disorienting things begin to get, and by the time that “For Breakfast” is done it’s pretty clear that we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto! “So High” follows on the footsteps of “For Breakfast” growing from the gnarled wall of distortion that it’s predecessor left behind, and despite it’s name “So High” seems to be a lot more grounded and sane than “For Breakfast”, ha-ha! It’s a definite trip back into the 60’s peace and love mindset, but with the jaded outlook of a generation who’s seen the inevitable results of free-love and mind-expansion through intoxication. It’s an interesting paradox, and one that seems to pop up from time to time on Geodesic Dome Piece. It’s difficult to tell just how tongue-in-cheek The Blank Tapes are being and how much of a social statement they’re actually attempting to make, not that it really matters anyways. I don’t know what it is about “Oh My Muzak” but it feels like it should be the theme song to some imaginary kids’ show where the host is completely dosed out on lysergics and stuffing handfuls of hallucinogenic mushrooms down his throat, croaking and crooning about random insanity to a room full of horrified children running in the opposite direction. “Slippin’ Slide” moves back into more recognizable psychedelic territory, bringing along some much needed energy to pick the listener back up and lock them in a groove for the rest of the album. I could do without the horns on the song, but admittedly I’m a bit close-minded about horns in just about anything other than jazz music so you can kind of take that with a grain of salt. “420” has a perfectly lazy feeling to it, slinking along and puling at the strings attached to the top of your head until you’re bopping along whether you want to or not; if you’ve ever just gotten waaaayyyy to high and started to get those weird involuntary muscle spasms while you were melting into the couch and the floor was floating of you, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here! Midway through the song you can hear waves literally crashing against a rock wall as the guitar and keys fight it out, escalating to a frenzied peek before falling into a sick groove and delivering one of the tastiest solos on Geodesic Dome Piece amidst one of the most laid back and dreamy tracks on Geodesic Dome Piece. “I’m a gonna wanna, I’m a gonna wanna, I’m a gonna wanna” put this song on so many times it’s gonna drive me nuts man! There’s a timeless sense of carefree joy about “420” that can’t be imitated, it has to be from the head and the heart and it can not be missed when you hear the track. I don’t even know where to start with “Brown Chicken Brown Cow”. It sounds like it should be a completely nonsensical song, and at times the lyrics almost seem to stray into that territory of word association or something as opposed to literal meanings, but it never fully strays off the path into haywire territory and manages to stay on track and as serious as can be expected. Looking at the track listing I had assumed “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” would be kind of a funny song or that the title would have nothing to do with the track, The Blank Tapes avoid boundaries and expectations as always however, delivering something completely and wholly their own. “Do You Wanna Get High”, on the other hand, is about exactly what it sounds like it would be. Again though, it’s interesting to hear someone who’s coming at this kind of music with not only the rose colored glasses that we all wear when looking back at times gone by, but with all the unfocused and confused anger of generations since as well. Seemingly carefree, there’s a dark almost lamenting side to the song to my ear, which would make sense as it leads into the mellow laid-back territory of the album closer “To Your Dome Piece”. Chanting choirs of backup vocals join in the repeated vocal mantra that I would put money fueled the writing and recording of Geodesic Dome Piece simply singing, “to your dome piece” over and over again. It’s an excellent way to end the album, and a perfect way of explaining how one should actually listen to Geodesic Dome Piece. It’s probably best enjoyed either completely intoxicated or as part of a greater quest for self-enlightenment and mind-expansion through music, and I don’t say that in any condescending or snobbish way. I know it seems like that might be overstating, or understating how good of an album Geodesic Dome Piece actually is, but I don’t know how else to take it, other than as a completely profound and personal statement from a band who’s have been honing their craft for as long as The Blank Tapes have. I highly recommend that any head or fan of experimental psych pick up a copy of this album as essential listening. Geodesic Dome Piece is gonna earn a permanent spot on your favorites list and be one of those albums you put on when you have company over for years to come so you can expose new people to it and preach the gospel of The Blank Tapes to virgin ears guaranteed!
Surviving The Golden Age
THE BLANK TAPES: GEODESIC DOME PIECE
Stoners often try too hard at embracing the high life, this idea is often amplified in musical creation. Whether it is a flowery, strung out rhythm or a lyric as base as “do you wanna get high”, stoner rock has always depended on cultures interest and disinterest in the marijuana plant. Matt Adams, DA Humphrey, and Pearl Charles make up the stoner rock group The Blank Tapes, and they’re as heady as they come. Conceived on the California coast, under the supervision and songwriting of multi-instrumentalist and front man Matt Adams, The Blank Tapes have made a name for themselves, touring across America, Europe, Brazil, and Japan. They’re break-out album, Vacation released in 2012 by Antenna Farm Records/Burger Records, widened their fan base allowing them to tour worldwide and release previous material forged prior to the band’s success. Recorded in 2010 in San Francisco, Geodesic Dome Piece is a 12 track compilation of weed induced psychedelic pop-rock now available to the public via Royal Oakie Records and Tapes.
There isn’t one track that isn’t related to the emerald herb, which is bad for those looking for any serious meaning, and good for those who actually know the mindset to have when going into a stoner rock album. Geodesic Dome Piece is a lighthearted, psychedelic, dream-pop jam out meant for anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and is looking for some real attack in the musicianship department. In tracks “Oh My My” and “Magic Leaves” it’s easy to get a feel of how 60’s psychedelic influenced – and continues to influence – Adam’s sound and songwriting approach. The sitar is used with precision throughout the work, especially in the seventh track “Oh My Muzak”. It’s as if Matt Adam’s modernizes the instrument into something very unlike traditional recordings. This, if anything, is a testament to the band’s cohesion and overall playing ability. From song to song, this album flows nicely, however, there are some negatives. Like anything released within the stoner rock genre, the listener has to expect and accept a few things. First, repetitiveness is king in lyricism, there’s not a whole lot going on poetically (usually). Second, while a song might be repetitive, don’t expect a concrete structured roadmap from point A to point B. And lastly, one needs to accept the occasional jam-out even if it is unexpected and lengthy. When these small diversions are seen more as a positive then a negative, this album and the genre as a whole becomes more enjoyable.
The Blank Tapes’ Geodesic Dome Piece is an album filled with humor, wizard-like instrumentation, and the occasional bong rip, resulting in a carefree work of celebrated self-expression. A genre well in need of some revival and renewal, Geodesic Dome Piece hits it out of the park.
Sonic Space: The Blank Tapes
California native Matt Adams smokes a lot of marijuana. This is something he wants you to know, or at least it’s something you wouldn’t be surprised to learn after a simple perusal of the track list for his newest album “Geodesic Dome Piece” (2015). With titles as subtle as “Way Too Stoned,” “Magic Leaves” and “4:20,” the album seems like it’s auditioning to be the soundtrack to “Pineapple Express” (2008).
Recording under the moniker “The Blank Tapes,” Adams’ outfit has been going for several years, and he has been spitting out various EPs for the past decade. Given the subject matter of this latest release, it might seem a bit surprising that Adams has managed to emerge from his perpetually stoned state to spit out much of anything, let alone a cohesive album — but don’t let the chilled-out vibes fool you. Adams has constructed tightly layered instrumentals in his latest work, and the wobbling, treble-focused guitar on “Geodesic Dome Piece” is a noteworthy departure from the aggressively reverbed guitar tones currently dominating the west coast garage-rock soundscape. Moreover, Adams mostly manages to avoid the clichéd shoegaze, lo-fi tendencies of most psychedelic-pop rock outfits. Specializing in small acoustic touches that round out the atmosphere of sounds, Adams introduces soothing ocean sounds in “4:20” and echo-y vocals on “Magic Leaves.” Not bad, huh?
Of course, with classic lines such as “It’s the best/ bong rips for breakfast” and “Oh me, oh my/ It’s 4:20 and I’m going wanna get high,” the stoner shtick can get a little tiring. It’s disappointing that Adams doesn’t expand the scope of this album beyond “Isn’t marijuana fun? I want some, also I just had some,” but the album is decidedly more complex than it’s subject matter, even if some of the lyrics sound like the witticisms your obnoxious stoner cousin muttered under his breath last Thanksgiving. Tracks are expansive — “Way Too Stoned,” the album’s opener, recalls the more spacey vibes of the 80s psychedelic folk-rock comeback era and “Buff,” another standout, runs its course with a jumpy deconstructed disco beat that Adams has paired a wailing, distorted guitar and rapid fire drumming. Across the board, a number of tracks evoke the surfy-stoney beach rock of the 1960s in all the best ways.
All in all, the thematic elements of “Geodesic Dome Piece” wear out pretty quickly. But the intricate instrumentation and all around chill vibe of this album still make it a fun time. It’s maybe not what you’d pull out at a family party, but it’s perfectly nice to get a little wavy to.
The Blank Tapes: Geodesic Dome Piece
After nearly a decade of scattered touring and releases, Californian Matt Adams, aka the Blank Tapes, might be gaining a little focus, despite the apparent cumulus cloud of herb he spends his days hovering in. Or at least that’s what you’d ascertain from hanging out in this Geodesic Dome Piece.
Musically, the songwriting here is suspiciously constructed, quite tight actually, melodies never floating away in the lava lamp obby-dooby. Most especially gratifying are the stingy, trebly guitar tones that are a nice departure from the over-reverb wash of the preponderance of current garage-psych from the left coast. That hits you in your red-eyes right off on the excellent opener, Way Too Stoned, which calls to mind the more expansive bands of the ’80s paisley underground like True West and Rain Parade.
Then simple but effective flourishes charmingly trip up the ongoing day-glo trip: the waves crashing in 420, fuzzy memories of when Flaming Lips weren’t so rich (For Breakfast), and the drunky-deep back-up singing and sax on Slippin’ Slide.
The constant lyrical references to getting high though are silly after a while (even accepting that it’s a bit of a shtick). As time goes on, getting high on “stuff that’s gonna mess you up” has lost most of it’s weirdo appeal since it’s increasingly commonplace to injest mind-altering substances. Not to mention, have you ever hung out with someone who constantly smokes a lot of weed? Not exactly rousing. Whereas the Blank Tapes’ tunes can be.
Once again, Adams lays off all the cliched, over-layered, lo-fi shoegaze tendencies of most modern psych-pop. Mid-song, the disco beat of Buff grabs soon hooks arm-in-arm with whirlwind lead guitar wailing, all finally slamming down on the ground at the end. Then there’s something about Magic Leaves that feels kinda original disco era radio rock too, and the next song with “High” in the title also has a shifty beat, and it’s apparent that we’re dealing with a cat who knows from keeping flare-pants guitar invitingly dancey in an era where guitar rock is often accused of the opposite.
Oh My Muzak by title alone isn’t afraid of perhaps the ultimate endpoint for Adams, but for now bubbly beats, “Oh my child” back-ups, bongos and banjos all metered together for some street-struttin’ finger-poppin’ (and a heart that resides in that fourth Velvet Underground LP) feels mighty fresh in these dark days of winter.
By the time “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” prances out, your tolerance for far out-isms might be tested, especially when the next song is called (groan) Do You Wanna Get High. Nope, I just want some topic and sonic left turns at this point. But yeah, given that it’s all cold and icy outside, Adams is a good guest to let inside for a spell.
THE BLANK TAPES – GEODESIC DOME PIECE (ROYAL OAKIE TAPES AND RECORDS)
The Blank Tapes return with a West Coast classic rock sound that will blow your mind. Geodesic Dome Piece is the soundtrack to that fuzzed-out mind experience you want to trip to. Their psych-sound fills a void somewhere between The Honeycombs and David Crosby, and provides a flawless merging between folk rock and psychedelic rock.
Recorded in San Francisco, you can really feel the tightness of the Haight-Ashbury scene as if it were preserved in time and 40 some odd years never passed. A song like “Brown Chicken Brown” squeezes the denim and suede out of the clothes and into the song. A thrift shop rendezvous and an organic smoke-filled daze, these songs are as fragile as a cloudy day and as glorious as a Bay area sunset.
Looking in from the outside and seeing the So-Cal sound wax and wane, it seems like this classic sound has been in style then out of style and now possibly back in style unless The Blank Tapes multi-instrumental stance is just a sound they are refusing to let go of. Recorded back in 2010, this album makes more sense than more recent conceptions. Why it’s not getting its release until now I cannot answer, but my guess is things like the 40 song psychedelic cartoon music by Matt Adams helped throw a wrench in the project. Better late than never, and digging into this album gives you a vibe not quite captured to The Blank Tapes authenticity until now even though there is evidence that goes beyond classic rock preservation. “Magic Leaves” tells us otherwise as it is a song that builds subtle possibilities shining with a 21st Century folk glow.
But the stand-out track “Way Too High” not only embellishes on the theme of the album, but generates a psych-out sound that wraps around a thick smoke of incense, velvet, and guitar intoxication. “420” continues this theme with an obvious title that is more mellow and sedate than “Way Too High.”
For me, I can say I really like how The Blank Tapes encapsulates themselves into a late ‘60s/early ‘70s time warp and not only rekindles my fond love for this lost period of musical creativity, but the delicateness of rock is still being developed from the core essence of what it all stems from. Geodesic Dome Piece is a fine listen whether you are spaced-out or not.
Global Texan Chronicles
The Blank Tapes – Geodesic Dome Piece
“The Long Lost Stoner Album” – Matt Adams
It probably isn’t conceivable that one of California’s more important working singer´songwriters could top himself after a continued prolific release and tour schedule but Matt Adams isn’t your everyday sort. His The Blank Tapes recently released, “the long lost stoner album”, Geodesic Dome Piece (Royal Oakie). A collection where 60’s pop and garage mingle handsomely with 80’s alt rock sensibilities. All the while culminating into one of the band’s most accesible collections since ‘Vacation‘.
Gone are the experimental journeys of recent offerings (mostly) but not Adam’s familiar lyrical odes to the laid back with the added pleasantries if not surprising jingle-jangle guitar work reminiscent of Johnny Marr and killer bass lines (hear “So High”) this set is a Summertime instant classic in the middle of Winter.
Here are a few highlights from an album you need, like now and all.
I Can’t Believe My Earz
The Blank Tapes: Geodesic Dome Piece
California’s The Blank Tapes released ‘Geodesic Dome Piece‘ in January 2015 with 12 tracks of 1960’s pop that sounds like it stepped out of another dimension. Sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders meet The Twilight Zone! The sound is infectious. From the opening chords of “Way Too Stoned“, with its ethereal, dream like vibe, I was taken away by 60’s pop melodies, great harmonies, cool effects, and insanely exciting riffs (check out “For Breakfast” and “Buff“). There are wonderful changes, particularly in “Brown Chicken Brown Cow“, and way cool mandolin on “To Your Dome Piece“. The album is filled with surprises, including wonderful guitar and saxophone solos on “Slippin’ Slide“, and a jangly surf-pop vibe to “Oh My Muzak“. Favorite track “Do You Wanna Get High“, with its dynamite pop chorus, an amazing change in key, and lyrics that include ‘do you wanna get high, just like Chucky and me, cause we’re likely to be all the time’.
Pittsburgh in Tune
The Blank Tapes glorify marijuana on ‘Geodesic Dome Piece’ LP
Matt Adams, the guiding creative force behind California psychedelic rockers The Blank Tapes is a lot of things … but subtle ain’t one of them. Latest full-length “Geodesic Dome Piece” is awash in drug references — most notably marijuana — and chock full of jangly guitars and fuzzy melodies.
Available on vinyl and cassette tape, the 12-track release ranks among the best work of his career. Songs like “Way Too Stoned,” “420” and “Do You Wanna Get High” are the most overt odes to the emerald herb, but even the non-stoners out there should be able to get a kick out of this first-rate album.
The Blank Tapes also score with keepers “Oh My My,” “So High,” “Slippin’ Slide” and set closer “To Your Dome Piece.” This celebration of cannabis isn’t quite on par with 2013’s sublime “Vacation” release, but “Geodesic Dome Piece” is a worthy addition to Adams’ resume.
The Blank Tapes – Geodesic Dome Piece (2015)
“Geodesic Dome Piece” is the new album from California’s The Blank Tapes. Featuring 12 tracks of stoned-out rock n’ roll bliss-ranging from jangly guitar balladry to electric sitar psych-outs, neo-pop nuggets, 70’s rock juggernauts, and heavy fuzz freakouts-this is the Blank Tape’s first full length record since 2012’s breakout release “Vacation”. Recorded in San Francisco, this record riffs on the City’s rock n’ roll legacy and everybody’s favorite emerald herb. Royal Oakie Tapes and Records out of Oakland, CA is excited to be releasing “Geodesic Dome Piece” on vinyl, cassette tape, and digital megabytes on January 13, 2015.
zu gehör getragen (186)
the blank tapes – geodesic dome piece (2015)
> die kalifornier um matt adams liefern ab, wie man es von ihnen gewohnt ist, heuer vielleicht etwas teurer produziert, doch die musikalie bleibt abgehangener, nicht zu berechnender surfpop mit allerlei bunten einflüssen, stets sonnig und mit viel spiellaune, 3,5-4/5
1. Way Too Stoned (3:09)
2. Oh My My (2:41)
3. Buff (2:49)
4. Magic Leaves (3:19)
5. For Breakfast (2:13)
6. So High (2:52)
7. Oh My Muzak (3:02)
8. Slippin’ Slide (3:45)
9. 4:20 (4:33)
10. Brown Chicken Brown Cow (3:27)
11. Do You Wanna Get High? (3:28)
12. To Your Dome Piece (4:38)
13. Do You Wanna Get High (Acoustic Demo) (3:09)