Inspector Tapehead: Duress Code

What’s that phrase…an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, hidden inside a doo dah? Whatever it is, that’s what Inspector Tapehead are. At first listen, their debut long-player, the recently released Duress Code,  seems like a folk album, albeit one with the occasional outbreak of knob twiddling and the attendant bleeps, buzzes and blips which that entails. So, folktronica then? Well, no…because that folk?, well, maybe it’s more folk-pop or even indie-pop. But then you get to Grooming, a song which sets out as a slow guitar groove and ends up as an experimental electronic soundscape. Theirs is a sound which is constantly mutating and impossible to pin down.

What this album definitely is, as their live performances attest, is the sound of a band having a bloody good time. That said, Inspector Tapehead manage to pull off that most difficult thing in pop music; these songs have their tongue placed firmly in their cheek without ever coming close to being novelty and therefore there’s no risk of a novelty wearing thin. For all the wryly observed lyrics, these are well written songs and stand up to repeated listens with ease.

Live, their sound is even more remarkable as the bleeps and buzzes muscle their way to the fore, paired with the occasional vocal delivered via the medium of a child’s megaphone. The album’s closing track best encapsulates this. Pegswood’s Day In The Sun, combines surreal spoken word, twee acoustic guitar and a squelchy synthesizer all of which blends perfectly to sound like a 1970’s TV theme. And who could resist that? Inspector Tapehead, the sound of the past, the future and an as yet undiscovered fourth dimension.

Get your hands on a copy of Duress Code:

Inspector Tapehead’s My Space is

A  big thank-you to our friend Jon from The Suitcase Orchestra web site for this review. Find more of his stuff at:

By peter on October 6, 2010

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