Tape Deck Mountain: Secret Serf EP

Tape Deck Mountain
Secret Serf EP
(Lefse Records)

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Secret Serf, the four-song EP from Tape Deck Mountain, is their most recent release since their debut LP Ghost and first EP Sparks. Many critics gave the Ghost and Sparks some criticism, but if there is anything they don’t like about Secret Serf, I imagine these critics simply were not listening to this music properly.

It’s very easy to lump a band into the ambient-rock genre, making them indiscernible from other acts. However, Tape Deck Mountain should more appropriately be classified, if anything, as ethereal prog-rock, and I’d put them in the same vein as bands like Explosions in the Sky, Solar Powered People and Mogwai– all bands that take a bit of patience to truly appreciate.

Tape Deck Mountain graces us with lyrics that slide and flow perfectly along with their shoe-gaze, lush-metal sound, and they manage to keep a slightly heavier, more haunting edge to their music though, which separates them from the surf and bubblegum beats of many other San Diego bands.

The best track is the opener, “P.I.,” whose borderline-sinister lyrics of “you know, I know…” stay with you long after the record’s completion.

Essentially, Secret Serf sounds like it came from the days of tape decks, but without the glitches. To truly embrace this album, I recommend blasting it on headphones or external speakers.

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