FoundwavesThe Blank Tapes: Concert Photos GREAT SCOTT – MAY 15, 2015
EarbuddyThe Blank Tapes – Geodesic Dome Piece Review
I listened for medicinal purposes only…I SWEAR!!!
I should be coughing like Seth Rogen after listening to The Blank Tapes’ new album, Geodesic Dome Piece. Its West Coast stoner rock is based out of California (total surprise, right?) and is largely the project of singer/musician Matt Adams. Not only does Adams write catchy songs about the sticky icky, but he also worked as an artist for Mad Magazine, a fact that I find necessary to include to help explain Adams’ slacker humor that recalls such artists as Mac DeMarco and Ty Segall. These artists don’t necessarily always write serious songs, but the songs are charmingly irresistible nonetheless. It’s an important trait to have for an artist like Adams, especially when much of Geodesic Dome Piece is thematically based on getting stoned.
However, if you think Adams records under the monicker The Blank Tapes because he’s always drawing a blank from overconsumption of weed, then you’d be incorrect. Adams is a functioning recreational (perhaps, professional) user, and it doesn’t hinder his ability to write interesting songs. The clearest example (after wading through a thick haze of smoke) is “Slippin’ Slide”, a song that starts innocently enough with a West Coast guitar melody, reverb vocals, and lyrics about being on a slippin’ slide, but then pops in this masterful inclusion of saxophone which puts the song over the top. This is one thing I appreciated most about Geodesic Dome Piece — Adams’ willingness to mix things up from just standard guitar rock with unexpected instruments and melodies thrown here and there (hear: Eastern music influences on “Magic Leaves”, psychedelic opening on “To Your Dome Piece”).
In a way Adams has successfully captured the essence of The Dude from The Big Lebowski and meshed it with the garage pop friendliness of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Still, Geodesic Dome Piece is not a perfect record by any means. His drug use is referenced so many times to where it begins to border on parody — there’s a song titled “420” for Christ’s sake — but the music’s wobbly nature saves it from being disastrous. This critique of the album is also what will endear Geodesic Dome Piece to many listeners. And if you’re friends with those listeners and find yourself hanging with them while playing The Blank Tapes on their stereo, you won’t be able to help yourself from getting a contact high.
Austin Town HallSouthern Fuzz Rock from The Blank Tapes
Felt like I had one direction pushing this morning, musically speaking, so I had to soften things up with this sunny bit of rock n’ roll from The Blank Tapes. This song is the first single from the group’s new album, Geodesic Dome Piece, and it looks like the blend of psychedelia and roots rock will clash heads throughout the entirety of your listen. You’ll hear cascading guitar solos working over the smooth bounce of the vocals, drawing out the maximum bit of soul searching for listeners. Look for the LP on January 13th via Royal Oakie Tapes & Records.
NoogaNotes from Left of the Dial: Feral Conservatives and more
The Blank Tapes, “Way Too Stoned”
California rock outfit The Blank Tapes is actually the work of one man, Matt Adams, and through a kaleidoscopic outlook on pop and rock music—and no particular allegiance to any one decade—he has released numerous records and toured all over the country, bringing his stoned-out pop/rock songs to anyone within shouting distance. Equal parts “Nuggets”-esque garage rock and psych-filled fuzz freak out, his music is an amalgam of genres, all jumbled together in a mash of sound and herb-influenced haze.
Adams has given us a taste of what to expect from his upcoming record, “Geodesic Dome Piece,” with recent single “Way Too Stoned,” a song that touts the positives and negatives of being a bit too reliant on illicit pharmaceuticals. Infused with a carefree rock ‘n’ roll attitude, the track rolls along on a series of jubilant garage rock rhythms and fuzzy melodies that contribute to the song’s overall sense of gauzy awareness. “Way Too Stoned” rises above its jokey superficiality and becomes something of a garage rock wonder.
In Your SpeakersThe Blank Tapes: Geodesic Dome Piece
The year is 2015 and a handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana, while an even larger handful of cities have decriminalized the substance. But let’s rewind to a different moment. No, not to the early weed soaked seventies of Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, but to 2010. It was almost five full years ago that Matt Adams, otherwise known as The Blank Tapes, started recording Geodesic Dome Piece in sunny San Francisco. If you are wondering if that kind of time lapse makes the album sound dated, or quaint, or tinges it with an indescribable indulgence, it does. Not because it sounds like 2010, but because it sounds precisely like San Fransisco in the early ’70s. It’s the kind of record Pynchon’s Doc Sportello can’t even hear coming through his own speakers he’s so stoned.
You don’t have to listen to understand the theme. The first track is titled “Way Too Stoned” and is followed by other tempered nods such as “4:20,” “Magic Leaves,” and “Do You Want to Get High?” What do you think “For Breakfast” is going to be about?
“Magic Leaves” offers a spacey intro with echoing low register vocals that never seem to get quite as trippy as you’re expecting. There is an almost Black Keys-esque chorus change which holds up surprisingly well and would seem to offer a touchstone for the album’s time-changing center…
The Fat Angel SingsThe BLANK TAPES – ”Way Too Stoned“
The Blank Tapes is a moniker for the California sounds of multi-instrumentalist Matt Adams, and as he’s joined by friends and musicians on the road and in the studio, he seems to be consistently re-imagining the sounds that have won him an audience. Now, his latest effort, full-length “Geodesic Dome Piece”, is slated for release tomorrow on vinyl and cassette tape.
DC Rock LiveThe Blank Tapes “Geodesic Dome Piece”
I started typing this review with a ludicrous typo, by calling them the ‘bland’ tapes. This was far from a Freudian slip as this music is quite vibrant and was an absolute blast to listen to. Some of the songs are quite brilliant, with others slipping back a bit, but still offering some variety into the psychedelic mix. They have more restraint than most of the psychedelic bands taking cues from poppier acts like the Beau Brummels or even like a lightier spacier Spiritualized at times. It’s an odd mix of songs, but there is a lot of imagination amidst the likable melodies that it comes together at the end of the twelve songs. It is great to see pyschedelic moves working in so many musical directions, even if every other song is about getting stoned.
Songs to try first:
Way Too Stoned – Excellent Beau Brummels styled song that is truly timeless (well at least 1960s and beyond).
BUFF – Strong psychedelic work out with a moderate piece that holds an edge.
Do You Wanna Get High – Lovely jangly pop song.
The Bay BridgedGet To Know: Royal Oakie Records and Tapes
Oakland’s Royal Oakie Records and Tapes has been around since 2011, but they are poised for an especially busy 2015. Founded by David Glassebrook of Deep Ellum and Yasamine June, Royal Oakie has released albums from Deep Ellum, Cave Clove, and others over the last 4 years, and recently announced a fine pair of additions to their catalog: Sugar Candy Mountain’s Mystic Hits, which is out now, and The Blank Tapes’ Geodesic Dome Piece, set for a January 13 release.
Royal Oakie is also planning releases in 2015 from Trans Van Santos, Deep Ellum, Fine Points, and more, while planning a label curated tour. Royal Oakie’s founders are hands-on: Glassebrook is also a producer and engineer who works on many of the albums on the label, while June oversees most of the artwork and layouts of the projects and even provided vocals on Trans von Santos’ upcoming release. Listen to “Way too Stoned” off Blank Tapes’ Geodesic Dome Piece followed by the album stream of SCM’s Mystic Hits. Sugar Candy Mountain performs New Year’s Eve at the Chapel with Allah-las.