Memory Tapes’ 2010 debut, ‘Seek Music’, was a pleasant slice of electronica, with a couple of genuinely brilliant tracks. His follow-up feels like a more organically constructed effort, with the occasional prominence of guitars interspersing the synths. It’s a poor start though, as opener ‘Wait In The Dark’ sounds distinctly like somebody just pressed the demo key on an old Casio and wandered off to make a cup of tea, before returning to rescue the song with a great vocal line.

Things only really step up a notch with the slowest paced track on the record – the melancholy waves and underwater vocals of ‘Yes I Know’. ‘Fell Thru Ice’ meanwhile sounds like the ‘quiet’ passage of a good post-rock track, only with vocals and beats bolted on. As the record progresses, there are atmospheric beats here, bright saccharine melodies there, but little of real adrenaline-flowing substance to hook onto and really love; yet ‘Player Piano’ as a whole is rich with invention and a demonstrably impressive musicality.

By Chris Watkeys

Originally published in issue 29 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2011

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