Psychedelic southern-rock outfit DeWolff return with their latest LP Tascam Tapes. As the album cover so boldly notes, the album was recorded on the road for less than $50. Although the statement of, “sounds like a million bucks,” maybe somewhat of an overstatement, the album is an enjoyable jaunt into the psychedelic sphere.
Track, ‘Northpole Blues’, sets the tone for the album going forward. The distorted, lo-fi sounds of wailing psychedelic guitars gives the whole album its feeling of new-wave, blues rock. The bizarre blending here of punk and country works oddly well within the context of the record. Following on from this is, ‘Blood Meridian I’. The drumming on the track gives it a certain funk aesthetic whilst the old-school mentality of the blues aesthetic remains prevalent as ever.
As the album reaches its midway point, tracks such as, ‘Nothing Changed’ show a much more aggressive side to the band. The aggressive drum beats provided in the track showcase a bite to the band. It must be stated however that at this point in the album the bluesy guitar sound begins to get a little homogenous and muted. It fails to really make its presence felt, and instead opts to blend into the background.
As the album draws to a close, ‘Am I Losing My Mind’ brings an air of change to the album. Sounding vaguely reminiscent of the more tender moments of bands such as Primal Scream. The guitar sounds light and elegant whilst the Steve Marriot-esque vocals serve to give a soul tinge to the track. It is perhaps the standout moment of the album. Rounding out the album is, ‘Life In A Fish Tank’. With this the 70’s influence of the album reaches its crescendo. The husky nature of the voice and the sound of the guitars combine together to bare a striking resemblance to a Rod Stewart-era Faces song. All-be-it a rather un-interesting one.
‘Tascam Tapes’ is, rather unfortunately, an un-interesting take upon the genres of psychedelic rock and blues. Although the group must be commended for the sound the achieved with such a low budget, the record fails to make itself heard and form anything that truly stands out. The tracks where the band’s rough and soulful nature is allowed to shine through makes for truly good listening. Unfortunately, these aren’t enough to salvage the rest of the record.