“Sha-La-Love” Reviews & more!

This article originally appeared in on November 26, 2015

Sha-La-Love COVER web SMALL
Sha-La Love is the Atlantis of Cassette Store Day 2015. This album was recorded more than five years ago, and then set aside and buried until now! Sha-La Love is part three of The Blank Tapes cassette trilogy, which includes Sleepy EP and Slow Easy Death, released by DOMEOFDOOM.

Global Texan ChoniclesThe Blank Tapes Sha-La-Love
Matt Adam’s The Blank Tapes have another collection of rarities or “lost” tracks assembled into a great new release Sha-La-Love (Dome Of Doom Records). I love it when Adams gets experimental, freaky and trippy and such like parts of HWY 9 but where the California growing legend is best is when he stones-out the sounds of late 60’s AM radio pop, rock and psych. The new album is an all-in DIY underground pop wonder created near solo by the maestro himself. With the participation of drummer Will Halsey on four tracks and some like-a-glove vocal pairings by Pearl Charles and Veronica Bianqui on a couple tracks this album is all Adams through and through and sure many artists handle multi-instrumented productions on their own but there is a sense of many on Sha-La-Love. It is so rich with calm, thoughts about love, questions, peaceful musings, unique perspectives you’d think many a smoky late night studio pow-wows were at hand during production.

With 18 cohesive take it easy grooved tracks I am reluctant to choose any standout sounds but I will say “Somebody Somewhere” (ft Pearl Charles), “I Love, I’m Sorry, Goodbye” and “I Wanna Make It Right With You” are soundtrack ready and stand to exemplify the many strengths Matt Adams has perfected over his prolific and lengthy career.

To get the full picture or sounds as it is, check out the previous two releases in The Blank Tapes cassette trilogy Sleepy EP and Slow Easy Death also via Dome Of Doom Records.

The Bay BridgedBlank Tapes playing Amnesia tonight in support of new LP “Sha-La-Love”
Following the release of the album Sha-La-Love on October 16, Los Angeles’s The Blank Tapes have since embarked on a mini-tour in support of the new LP. Released on Dome of Doom, Frontman Matt Adams spent the majority of recording Sha-La-Love in Oakland, California back in 2008-2010. Unfortunately, the album’s release was delayed and eventually abandoned due to focusing on other projects.

Adams, the sole member of The Blank Tapes, recently picked the album back up and with a few new tracks, some overdubbing, as well as adding Will Halsey (Sugar Candy Mountain) with Pearl Charles and Veronica Bianqui on vocals, the album finally began to take form.

Sha-La-Love still keeps that same garage pop-rock sound that has defined The Blank Tapes since their founding in 2003, adding elements of surf and blues rock into the mix. The album consists of 18 different tracks, each of which has kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish. The tracks themselves are as diverse and unique from one another as they can get. You could be listening to the upbeat and very danceable “Somebody Somewhere” and then instantly be taken to a much gloomier place when listening to “Go On”.

Matt Adams talents as a singer-songwriter are unquestionable given the plethora of music he has written over his career, and this quality truly shines on his newest record. If you haven’t already done so, check out his bandcamp where the album is available for streaming, as well as purchase. Adams will perform as a solo act at Amnesia on Valencia St tonight playing songs off his newest LP. This show will be somewhat of a homecoming for Adams given that he spent much of his life living in San Francisco as well as the heavy influence the city and culture had on his music.

Monterey County WeeklyMatt Adams of The Blank Tapes to play Monterey’s Pierce Ranch.
Matt Adams, the force behind the genre-fluid outfit The Blank Tapes, is a nomadic voyager of artistic landscapes. He is drawn to places like Joshua Tree and Brazil for their beauty and cultural climates.

When I talk to him, he’s hugging the Mexican border in McAllen, Texas, driven there by an opportunity to collaborate with Rotten Mangos guitarist Ramiro Verdooren. As with anywhere he goes, Adams carries with him seeds of raw songs, 60 to 70 at the moment. Verdooren was asked to choose 15 tracks, which they recorded for a future album.

In 2015, The Blank Tapes released Sha La-La Love and Geodesic Dome Piece. The lo-fi, melancholy Sha-La-La was recorded on an eight-track player in an Oakland shack where Adams lived from 2008-10.

Adams was inspired by the Bay Area’s folk revival soundscape to write melodies layered with acoustic guitars, slide guitars and banjos, a la Neil Young and the Byrds. “One day I’ll write a country song and the next day I’ll write a rock song,” he says.

Written within the same time period as Sha-La-La Love, Geodesic Dome Piece is evidence of Adams’ prolific and ambidextrous abilities. The first track, “Way Too Stoned,” a hazy, not-so-subtle tune about getting high, is the white rabbit that leads you on a 43-minute voyage of dirty psych-rock terrain.

For The Blank Tapes’ next album, debuting in spring, Adams says he cherry-picked tracks from an ample backlog he wrote on an international tour. Those songs are laced with references to Brazil, Japan and Europe, as well as Adams’ relationship with ex-drummer Pearl Charles.

“It’s like Vacation, part two,” Adams says, referring to The Blank Tapes’ sunny, ’60s pop 2013 release, Vacation, which Adams also wrote primarily on the road.

Spin magazine praised that album’s single, “Coast to Coast,” for “[staying] true to the Los Angeles – and Oakland-based band’s scrappy roots.”

Adams has relocated to Los Angeles as part of a southern migration of indie artists and musicians from the Bay Area, prompted by possibilities of more affordability and fresh aesthetics.

“There’s a certain zeitgeist happening in L.A.,” says Adams. “It seems like the best place for music right now.”

Popular local psych rock prodigies The Pip Squeeks open for Adams’ solo show at Pierce Ranch Vineyards on Saturday. Only 30 tickets are available.

Monterey County WeeklyMatt Adams (of The Blank Tapes) and The Pip Squeeks at Pierce Ranch Vineyards
You’re in a ethereal, hazy, sweet dream. An old convertible sails along a road of clouds lined with twinkling palm trees and velvet flowers. You roll up to a cosmic diner where you meet your one true love to share the most delicious galactic milkshake you ever did taste. Matt Adams, singer/songwriter/guitarists of The Blank Tapes, is in the jukebox serenading you with his “La-La-Love You.” Lucid effervescence wraps you up. Just then, the jukebox rattles with energy. When the Pip Squeeks (Eric Munoz on drums, Miranda Zipse on bass and Jacob Ellzey on guitar) start singing, “you make me feel this way I can’t explain” you are skyrocketed to Saturn and suddenly all are jiving on roller blades around the rings of Saturn under the lunar disco ball. Far out! These dreamy characters enter your reality manifested as a solo set by Adams and an acoustic show by The Pip Squeeks. Always follow your dreams.

Sound InjectionsNew: The Blank Tapes – Sunny Afternoon (The Kinks)
Matt Adams’s The Blank Tapes offers this sweet, heartbreaking cover on The Kink’s classic Sunny Afternoon. The retro feel is there, the ‘60s psyched pop still present, the salty beach smell goes through your system and the repeat button eagers to be pushed! One more time, please!

Pearl Charles got her start at age 18… Then she joined the Blank Tapes as drummer, immersing herself in 60s-inspired garage rock and traveling from coast to coast in a stoner haze of fun in the sun.
LA RECORD: You’re coming out of a series of bands that had someone else as lead songwriter—how have you found a groove for your own original music?
Pearl Charles: My music came to be what it is now because of the experience of being in Blank Tapes with Matt Adams. He produced the EP so it’s really rooted in that sound. And I was writing a certain kind of song because when I started this project I was still in Blank Tapes. At first I was scared to break ties with that sound. I really relied on him. But having not been in that band for a while and finding other people that I feel as comfortable with musically … that’s when my music started having a life of its own…

Teenaged rockers Regrettes just recently toured with Jack Off Jill all across the UK last month and have put together an awesome music video for the song “Hey Now!” chronicling their trip more or less. The song appears on their Hey! EP and is available via iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. It was also recorded by Blank Tapes member Matt Adams.
Stream Regrettes’ Hey!EP on Soundcloud

Veronica Bianqui new single “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead” & upcoming EP produced by Matt Adams!

BuzzBands.LAEars Wide Open: Veronica Bianqui
Veronica Bianqui‘s debut single, a garage-pop love song to a bad boy, falls sweetly in between girly and gritty. It’s melodic but jangly, fast but not so messy that you can’t enjoy her pretty chops. The chorus will lodge itself in your brain, and the verses contain some quirky gems that are worth savoring. When she sings “I like it rough, and you like it round,” it’s a blink-and-you-missed-it moment of imagining a good butt grab in the sack. Later, she whimsically rhymes “ring on my finger” with “shopping for coffee percolators,” making this a modern love song as we envision her and this dangerous love interest on a romantic trip to Target. “If Love’s A Gun, I’m Better Off Dead” marks Bianqui’s first single as a solo artist, but it ain’t her first rodeo. She has been playing guitar and singing in two very fun acts, Isaac Rother & The Phantoms and The Blank Tapes, with the latter band’s Matt Adams serving as producer on her tunes. The song offers our first taste of what’s to come on her forthcoming EP that will be released by Lolipop Records in the not so distant future.

This is Veronica’s first residency and her first real push for her solo work so it was nice to see support from members of other bands that she plays with. Joining her on stage was Matt Adams from The Blank Tapes and a very rare appearance from Isaac Rother of Isaac Rother and The Phantoms…


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