Friday, 20th April 2018. 6:51:45am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Tape Recorder Three- Character Amour


ARTIST: Tape Recorder Three
ALBUM: Character Amour
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 10-27-07

Tape Recorder Three- Character Amour

With Todd Zack singing and playing all the instruments himself, Tape Recorder Three comes off as a low-fi, budget model Interpol. While there's no professional polish on this album, there's plenty of brooding post-punk energy from the get-go, starting off with the crunchy guitars and disaffected baritone of "Living for Disco." Releasing and recording this himself also gives Zack the opportunity to indulge in plenty of eccentricities. Musically, this emerges in the twanging electric keys of "A Free Man in Tucson," the dirty blues guitar and low-fi voice-in-a-barrel production on "Obsidian Angel," and the dissonant twangs of "Food for the Moon." It's in the lyrics, though, that Zack's approach really gets off the wall. "Telepath Hermaphrodite" is dour acoustic rock with psychedelic lyrics streaming straight out of Zack's stream of consciousness. "Windowless Monad" adds vaguely gnostic symbolism to the mix. While Zack lyrics are perfectly rhymed to fit alongside the chords and drumbeats, all the intentional impenetrability can get to be a bit much, and perhaps this album's best song is "Oh, Mexico," a brooding ode to self-destruction set to twanging strums. With lyrics like "Down in buzzard town, there's no frogs or fish/It's your Jesus Christ and it's your death wish," it's as evocative as anything else on the album, but actually delivers a story that can be understood without having to delve too deeply into Zack's personal symbolisms. While this album occasionally makes itself inaccessible, Tape Recorder Three's mixture of Joy Division-inspired brooding and darkly psychedelic Americana makes for an intriguing listen.

Check out Tape Recorder Three on MySpace at www.myspace.com/taperecorderthree.


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