One of 2006's biggest Pitchfork-inspired success stories, Tapes 'n Tapes is a quirky act from Minneapolis whose chunky, off-kilter rhythms and jangling angularity suggest indie-rock heroes like the Pixies, Modest Mouse, and Pavement. But for all the bands it brings to mind, Tapes 'n Tapes really doesn't sound quite like anyone else. Last year's debut, The Loon, buzzes with energy and idiosyncratic charm. Unfortunately, some of the songwriting isn't nearly as imaginative as the backing arrangements.
On its self-titled debut, Vancouver's Ladyhawk roars, rages, and rambles through spiky, country-inflected rock that combines the ragged glory of Neil Young/Crazy Horse and a distortion-drenched corn-fed throb à la early Soul Asylum. Though prone to meandering (the seven-minute "Long 'Til the Morning"), the band makes up for it with nuggets like "Drunk Eyes," which conveys a bit of beer-goggled wisdom: "It's a long way back on a moonlit night with your drunk eyes on/And you can wind up wandering places where you don't belong."
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