The Loon

The last thing a band wants to do is start an album off with a clunker. The Twin City’s Tapes ’n Tapes provide entry into The Loon on a somewhat uninspired note with “Just Drums”; however, there are plenty of goodies waiting inside. The band’s debut full-length was released independently before the band was snatched up by XL Recordings (Thom Yorke, M.I.A., The White Stripes). Re-released, untouched, the record is a virtual flashback through ’90s indie rock that blatantly apes seminal bands Pavement and the Pixies. The first single, “Insistor,” could easily pass as a current version of “Nimrod’s Son,” and frontman Josh Grier provides a treasure trove of snarky lyrics (“I’ve been a better lover with your mother”) that are delivered in off-kilter, sometimes frantic fashion (ahem … Black Francis, Stephen Malkmus). Is that so wrong? “Cowbell” and “10 Gallon Ascots” provide good ol’ fashioned slacker guitar strums that build into rumbling, distorted choruses, which initially might seem pretty by-the-numbers. But after a few listens, minor details start to emerge—a well-timed punch of the synth here, a xylophone roll there—and The Loon will eventually chase away all those bad songs stuck in your head.