Joe GransingerMonday,3 December 2012

The Snap:

Memory Tapes upcoming album ‘Grace/Confusion’ takes a more experimental path than his previous releases and features only six songs. While that may sound like a short track list, the pure length of each song definitely compensates for it. I realize long songs aren’t particularly a new thing (‘Free Bird’, anyone?), but creating an entire album where the shortest track is nearly 5 minutes long – and the longest topping out at 8:31 – seemed a bit excessive to me. At first…

The Download:

Very few things annoy me in music. The first would be a long, never-ending intro, because when I want to hear that song, I don’t particularly enjoy waiting through two and a half minutes of monotonous guitar build-up to get there. The second thing that annoys me is abnormally long and boring songs that seem to keep going for days. So as you can imagine, my hopes were fairly low coming into this. However, I quickly realized that this album would be a different story. After listening to the entire album – which takes roughly 40 minutes to do – I was shocked at the diversity each track offers. Intertwined within every song are alternating vocals and semi-chaotic electronic rhythms, which seem to tie into the album name flawlessly. Don’t plan on getting sick of these above-average-length songs too quickly, because they’ll keep you interested all the way to the end.

When asked in an interview about writing longer songs than normal, singer/songwriter Dayve Hawk replied with, “For me, I don’t view these as ‘songs,’ per se, I view them as moments of ‘songiness’ that exist in the context of bigger piece”. Uhh, I’m not even going to pretend like I know what the fuck he’s talking about here, but I can definitely appreciate the new style and idea of the album. So we’ll just leave it at that.

The sound of ‘Grace/Confusion’ really shines in the triumphant eight-and-a-half minute bastard named ‘Sheila’, which is also, in my opinion, the best song on the album. Flashing between soft vocals and a smooth electronic section, the song could keep going for another 8 minutes and I’d still enjoy it. You won’t be getting the normal verse-chorus-verse-chorus of a typical song anywhere on this album, which is a welcomed change of pace and prevents each “moment of songiness” from getting boring.

Am I going to play this album when I’m entertaining a group of friends or hosting a party? No, definitely not. It will, however, be joining the likes of Radiohead and Bon Iver in my ‘Alone/Thinking’ playlist when it’s released December 4th.

Hat Tips:

MTVHive, SoundCloud – Memory Tapes, Image Credit: Flickr

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  1. […] that seems to be dying off at an incredible rate. However, like fellow ‘chillwave’ band ‘Memory Tapes’, not all of the members of that genre are ready to roll over and be forgotten just […]

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