Release Date: Jan 19, 2010
Record label: Lefse
Genre(s): Indie, Electronic
There’s definitely something in the water down in San Diego—and it’s not just the runoff from the Tijuana River. Of late, the sounds of dire apathy and unrelenting distortion infiltrating America’s finest via the pedals and amps of Wavves, Crocodiles, The Soft Pack, Christmas Island and now, Tape Deck Mountain, have been so murky and despondent you’d think they were all trapped in the Pacific Northwest. Even though many of their comrades in clamor have chosen loyalty to S.D.’s tried-and-true continuity in punk, Tape Deck Mountain veers more waywardly toward the lo-fi peaks and valleys, offering a keen, loyal nod to the rosters of K and early Sub Pop.
On Ghost, Tape Deck Mountain’s main player, Travis Trevisan, sounds like he’s got nothing to lose. It’s no wonder. Trevisan wrote and recorded the album after he—and the rest of the country—got laid off from his job. And you can feel a reticent freedom flowing through the whole record ….
There are two different ways to create cohesion on an album. The first, obviously, is to craft a specific sound that a band sculpts into a recognizable aural signature. The group then plays with the fringes and pushes boundaries while still maintaining the core attributes within that sound. The other option is, counterintuitively, to forgo a single sound altogether, opting instead to push in a multitude of eclectic directions.
"Thinking you're a ghost, dreaming you're a ghost, being a ghost, and getting good grades in school." That sounds either like a really fun "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spinoff pitch or a self-described undergraduate rock project. Naturally it's the latter, but it turns out that Ghost-- the debut from the San Diego three-piece Tape Deck Mountain-- isn't able to turn its premise into something that isn't formulaic. (Come to think of it, unless Joss Whedon really was involved, that fake TV show likely wouldn't either.) Sadly then one of rising label Lefse Records' marquee fall releases is frustrating thanks to a feeling of rootlessness that stifles any chance of its finding a rhythm.