It all began with a 16-year-olds wish to escape the confines of reality, to free the Willys of this world, or in this case as Music Tapes frontman, Julian, states, "I thought wed start the Music Tapes by freeing a goldfish." And thus it ends with their debut album The 1st Imaginary Symphony for a Nomad, which is by no means everyones cup of tea. While the intentions are indie-cred honorable, the result is a hodgepodge of recording techniques, from cassettes, reel-to-reel, a 1940s wire recorder and an 1895 Edison wax cylinder recorder to the very-90s computer hard drive. Add to that a little bit of compression and EQing with the original EMI desk and limiter at Abbey Road studios, and you cannot help but question whether theyre really interested in making music or proving that older technology still has value in this valueless, hypertechnological, premillennium world we inhabit.
Unfortunately, in the name of experimentation, they lose the pop sensibility and cohesion apparent in the music of Olivia Tremor Control. True, there are little gems like the very Eggslike "What the Single Made the Needle Sing" and the Hefneresque "Aliens," two tracks which hint at the potential this Merge-approved band represents. However, the gems are too few and far between and with its caution to all listeners that they risk their very lives, "A Warning" would have served better as the opening track.
Sometimes being on the edge of indie-Americana is like tempting the fates of permanent obscurity.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.