I listened for medicinal purposes only...I SWEAR!!!Royal Oakie Tapes and Records, 2015
Purchase: Royal Oakie Tapes Store
6.5 / 10
I should be coughing like Seth Rogen after listening to The Blank Tapes’ new album, Geodesic Dome Piece. Its West Coast stoner rock is based out of California (total surprise, right?) and is largely the project of singer/musician Matt Adams. Not only does Adams write catchy songs about the sticky icky, but he also worked as an artist for Mad Magazine, a fact that I find necessary to include to help explain Adams’ slacker humor that recalls such artists as Mac DeMarco and Ty Segall. These artists don’t necessarily always write serious songs, but the songs are charmingly irresistible nonetheless. It’s an important trait to have for an artist like Adams, especially when much of Geodesic Dome Piece is thematically based on getting stoned.
However, if you think Adams records under the monicker The Blank Tapes because he’s always drawing a blank from overconsumption of weed, then you’d be incorrect. Adams is a functioning recreational (perhaps, professional) user, and it doesn’t hinder his ability to write interesting songs. The clearest example (after wading through a thick haze of smoke) is “Slippin’ Slide”, a song that starts innocently enough with a West Coast guitar melody, reverb vocals, and lyrics about being on a slippin’ slide, but then pops in this masterful inclusion of saxophone which puts the song over the top. This is one thing I appreciated most about Geodesic Dome Piece — Adams’ willingness to mix things up from just standard guitar rock with unexpected instruments and melodies thrown here and there (hear: Eastern music influences on “Magic Leaves”, psychedelic opening on “To Your Dome Piece”).
In a way Adams has successfully captured the essence of The Dude from The Big Lebowski and meshed it with the garage pop friendliness of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Still, Geodesic Dome Piece is not a perfect record by any means. His drug use is referenced so many times to where it begins to border on parody — there’s a song titled “420” for Christ’s sake — but the music’s wobbly nature saves it from being disastrous. This critique of the album is also what will endear Geodesic Dome Piece to many listeners. And if you’re friends with those listeners and find yourself hanging with them while playing The Blank Tapes on their stereo, you won’t be able to help yourself from getting a contact high.
Hear: The Blank Tapes – “Way Too Stoned”