Articles and thoughts by Peter Holslin

Tape Deck Mountain, “Ghost” (Lefse; 2009)

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Tape Deck Mountain
Goes well with: The Microphones, Sebadoh, My Bloody Valentine

This debut full-length by local trio Tape Deck Mountain strikes the perfect balance between unrelenting expression and stone-cold sobriety. In the final moment of “On My Honor,” limber drums and moaning guitar overtake the song’s straight-ahead chord progression and programmed beat. In “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” a cathartic crescendo of jagged guitar and crashing drums gives way to a quiet noise experiment—perhaps they felt uncomfortable losing their cool.

And then there’s Travis Trevisan’s voice, remarkable only for its normalness. As the album’s distorted grooves and ghostly overtones carry the music to another realm, Trevisan brings it back to the world of school and girlfriends with his sincere delivery of prosaic verses like, “Please don’t marry that asshole Larry / I know he’ll move the place you’re buried next to me.

The band’s name suggests an affinity for the four-track tape recorder and all of the lo-fi classics it has produced. Indeed, had it been released in the ’90s, Ghost would no doubt have found a place among the likes of Sebadoh’s III—the technology is a bit more advanced, but it captures the same raw vitality of a promising band.

—Peter Holslin

This review was published in this week’s issue of San Diego CityBeat.

Written by Peter Holslin

January 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

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