Usually I review albums track by track, however this one deserves to be discussed in its entirety.
Following six EPs, this debut album from Cambridge band Tape Runs Out is described as ‘an exploratory sonic journey from the mind and soul of long-time band leader, Liam Goodrum-Bell (guitar, vocals). Tape Runs Out’s experimental sound comes in part from their excellent array of instrumentation – the band members bring violin (Clare Myerscough) and the hammered dulcimer (Ellie Winter), as well as bass (Takeshi Kanemoto) and drums (Laurence Moore).’
Recorded at guitarist Dan Dawson’s home studio and based on themes of feeling overwhelmed, the album jumps from style to style in the same way an over worked mind might, never settling in one place for too long. ‘Floodhead’s artwork is a simulation of a water droplet as it hits a body of water, which helps to symbolise the idea that this flood is made from individual things stacking up over time, bit by bit‘.
In ‘Ark’ we hear lyrics like ‘I guess I’m kind, I guess I’m kind, I guess I’m kind of pathetic… I guess I’m free, I guess I’m free, I guess I’m freakin out‘. It’s a clever play on words but also a fantastic illustration of self doubt, frustration and panic.
Some tracks like ‘The Garden – Pt 2’ trickle over you in a gorgeous way, others like ‘Paperback’ add a little more energy while the epic closer ‘Pillow Talk’ leaves you, despite all we hear and have heard, feeling ultimately optimistic about this protaganist’s fate.
A layered, atmospheric and building piece of work, let it wash over you again and again.
Floodhead is out now on Trapped Animal Records and available on vinyl and all streaming services.
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Review by Breige Cobane
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