by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
It's been five years since the release of Tape Deck Mountain's last full length, the excellent Sway. The band have stayed busy in the interim though, releasing an EP, a solo album from band leader Travis Trevisan, and relocating from Brooklyn to Nashville. The change has done them good and the quartet are back with Echo Chamber Blues, a stark shoegaze record that blends the darker atmospherics of Liars with wall of sound guitars and waves of distortion. Built around the political and religious climate following the 2016 election in their newfound home, the record is a reflection of the times and what the band call their "most upfront" album to date. Like galaxies colliding, the song's have a massive sound, twisting post-rock dynamics with pop structures and drifting guitars, blanketing the empty spaces.
"Morse Code," the album's third single, opens with a dampened bleakness, a feeling that Tape Deck Mountain have been perfecting over the years. There's humanity in it, but all emotions feel cold, nearly docile. The programmed rhythm pops in circular patterns, wrapping around your headphones (we do in fact recommend headphones), joined only by sparse twinkling guitars and a throbbing bass, with Trevisan's carefully selected words drawing a picture both dark and scratchy. By the second verse the distortion rings to a flat-lining effect and the band lurch into a sludgy riff, momentarily breaking the tension, before crawling back into unsettling shadows. Just when the rotating rhythm seems to hypnotize, the restraints are removed and the band's layers of overdriven guitars crash against pounding drums... and the cycle begins anew.
Tape Deck Mountain's Echo Chamber Blues is out February 23rd via Nineteen 98 Records.