The Blanks Tapes 'HWY 9'
1. October 2014 By Walter Price 0

Sounds You Can Try & Buy 1 October 2014

In this week’s Sounds You Should Try & Buy we’ll visit with an California friend with an epic new exploration in all things far out and a Canadian duo doing their right-on thing mixing R&B, rock-pop into a new style.

So put that peace pipe down long enough to let your fingers do some clickin and ears do some hearing… Let us begin to dig into what we’re listening to this week and thoughts from around the web.

(For more infos, click the album title)

The Blank Tapes – HWY. 9‘ (Vow Records)

There is a certain reality when it comes to expecting to get one thing and receiving far more than you could ever have hoped for.  In this case it’s the new epic album HWY. 9  from Matt Adam’s The Blank Tapes. 40  tracks, 10 years in the making and traveling roads far beyond and within what the world can count on from the prolific and sonically wanderlust mind of Adams.

What started out as a soundtrack for a sketched out character’s storyline and later combined with not so odd ‘oddball’ tracks added for the coolness of it all. HWY. 9 traverses the familiar 60’s/70’s AM pop lightness and then goes further with a dusting of techno, a faint country whisper, a little Hawaiian lullaby quaintness  and courts Beatlesque far-outness and that is just a smidgen on what can be found. Every nook and cranny is subtle exploration in sounds. Like finding an old organ at a flea market and trying each tab and button until you get a sound combination that works or tweaks the senses.

Here are just a few of the highlights; a three Matt tribute to the membranophone ‘Kazoo Song’, an oh so sweet 20’s style sing along ‘My Ladybug’, the chillin’ ‘Starry Skies’, perhaps one my faves ‘Humming Bird’ and as a guy who has never been a fan of instrumentals outside the Star Wars soundtrack or gems by Roy Clark, Dick Dale or Chet Adkin, what The Blank Tapes do on this collection are groovy segues. That’s right,  if the shoe fits.

In a multi-directional creative sense, HWY. 9 is similar to what Beastie Boys did with Paul’s Boutique but with laid back California pop textures at the foundation then the interesting thrives from that point on. Pay attention Wayne Cayone and Thom Yorke, rockpop music just found itself a new classic.

I asked Matt Adams about the story behind the album, “I started working on this album 10 years ago when it was originally called ENIPUCROP and was supposed to be accompanied by a story book. ( ENIPUCROP is my porcupine character on the album cover). I never finished the concept and never drew the finished comic although I drew a few scratch pages of it. Over the years I recorded numerous little melodies and odd ball songs that didn’t fit in with the sounds of my other records. Eventually my stockpile of old recordings became too big and I decided to release them as one collection with most of the old recordings from ENIPUCROP included.   40 minutes somehow lead to 80 minutes worth of music.

“My friends Levi Strom and Jim Reynolds have a lil label called Vow Records and I thought it’d be a good match for this album considering their label was started in Big Sur and HWY. 9 is a road in the Santa Cruz Mountains not far from there. I lived in a trailer in the redwoods on HWY. 9 for a month and wrote a bunch of songs. For some reason the name stuck. Reminded me of the Beatles’ Revolution #9. One day I’ll make and release ENIPUCROP The Animated Movie with some of these songs rerecorded as well as other ones not included.”

By Walter Price (The GTC)

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer – ‘A Real Fine Mess’ (Tonic)

We have discovered lately that the format of a duo is possibly the perfect collaborative situation going. Breaking the mold of more is better and, after talking with many of these partnerships, finding that these artists stand to have a better chance of lasting a bit longer in this wonderful world of diverse Rock N’ Roll.

Canadian ‘duo’ The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer are like a well organized vintage shop for sounds. A place were you can pick and match without restriction until your unique style shines. They say it best via their website,”“This record explores not only the electric ‘groove blues’ of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, but their own blues, a blues with a taste of rockabilly, soul, gospel and country. The songs explore complicated dichotomies, like how one’s life can appear successful on one hand, yet be clouded by doubt and struggles on the other- a real fine mess.” Dig It!


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