Previously known for his home-recorded-onto-cassette output (and quite a lot of output it was), Matt Adams has taken his shape- (and location-)shifting lo-fi project The Blank Tapes into an actual recording studio, solidified it into a permanent band, and given us an impeccable helping of rock’n’roll goodness in the process.
Adams has always had a knack for songwriting; to my ears, it’s a pleasure to hear a song of his given the width and depth that lo-fi recording really can’t deliver. But it’s not like he’s turned into Beyoncé or anything—a fuzzy sense of the homemade and hand-crafted very much remains, and completely serves a song that pays homage to the garage-y side of classic ’60s rock while avoiding the feel of a hollow knock-off. Hints of the Zombies, the Kinks, CCR, and/or the Guess Who are sprinkled in and around “Coast to Coast,” which is additionally full of splendid touches of its own, both small and large—the minor-key wordless vocal introduction to the major-key song; the fleeting Spector beat in front of the chorus; and (my favorite) the extended bridge that offers not only an aural change of pace but unfolds into a very satisfying coda section (2:48). When the ear is taken on that effective of a side trip, hearts are usually won over.
Adams has spent musical time in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. The latest incarnation of the Blank Tapes is an L.A.-based trio featuring D.A. Humphrey on bass and Pearl Charles on drums. “Coast to Coast” is the first available song from the album Vacation, which is due out in May on Antenna Farm Recordings. You can download the song via the link above or from SoundCloud. Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the head’s up.