Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sink Tapes, Touchdown Buffalo, 2014

Monday Run Album Review

Part of the reason that the Sunday Run Album Review disappeared from this space was that I'd found it nearly impossible to run consistently without aggravating one or more of a few nagging injuries. Most of that sad episode seems to be behind me now, so I've been trying to get back after it. I had big plans for Sunday, but a Saturday run coupled with about 6 straight hours of standing on Saturday night made Sunday a rest day for me. Monday, though, I was back at it; and I took the latest from Sink Tapes out with me.

Sink Tapes are slowly but surely growing into one of my favorite not just New Jersey bands, but bands overall. Over just the last two years, the New Brunswick quartet have churned out three excellent full-length albums and a fantastic EP. The band's latest, Touchdown Buffalo, reaches back into Sink Tapes' deep well of influences and continues a staggeringly consistent run of solid output.

The album opens with the percussive noise and trem-enhanced guitar chords of "I Told You to Trade It." The track finds Sink Tapes at their most Jesus and Mary Chain, and that continues through the roomy-sounding "Small Thought." Third track and lush album standout "Vegas Hotel Yoga Spa" (where you can socialize, get moisturized, dry your eyes, be institutionalized) moves into Psychedelic Furs territory and -- like its album-closing, acoustic demo version or How You Mean's "Your Mouth Is On My Mind" -- shows what Sink Tapes can do when they extend their ideas past the three-minute mark.

And if I have one complaint about Touch Down Buffalo, it's that the songs are too, damn short. Just as the "La la la" comes in on the Beulah-tinged "Dishes In The Dark," the song begins its fade. Similarly, "What Wants, What Needs" disappears just as it kicks in its mini crescendo. Many of the songs here are like something delicious that you pop into your mouth only to have it dissolve away, leaving you rifling through the package for just one more crumb. Always leave them wanting more, I guess.

And, on the plus side, I'm such a slow runner now that I was able to get through almost two full listens over the course of 5K.

Touchdown Bufflalo is out now on Front Row Records / Mint 400 Records and available as a cassette / digital download from Sink Tapes' Bandcamp page. You can also get it from your favorite retailer of downloadable music.

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