Review by Tristan Fernie
All The Best Tapes warn potential listeners that they're "not advised for serious negi-heads and dubstepperz" which, as far is statements of intent go, is pretty fucking cool. Far from going off on a rant about the atonal collection of beeps and wubs that passes as 'electronic music' these days, I'd much rather the myriad of reasons why this new band deserve your time and listening attention.
The best comparison I can give is to The Ergs!, minus Mikey Erg's nasally American whine. Instead, Marcus Barker's vocals pack the bite of Dan Sanfey of Five Knuckle, or a slightly less batshit Wesley Eisold. Elsewhere, Danny Beardmore provides tastefully upbeat drumming, backed by Scott Woolley's Descendents-worthy basslines. A good mix.
There's a strong posi vibe to this collection of tunes; opening track 'Nice Baby' is all about the importance of friends and not allowing yourself to wallow in grief. The punchy and energetic guitarwork neatly mirrors the message of the lyrics. 'OMG! Posthardcore Kids...EVERYWHERE!' is a stirring affront to trends and sloganeering, expressing the frustration of kids moping around in xscenexcorex bands instead of doing creating something constructive and new, backed by some of the most dance-worthy pop-punk you'll hear this side of The Menzingers. 'You Could Never' is my personal favourite song here, mournful lyrics about (what I assume to be) friendships and relationships cracking when placed under the microscope. The contrast between melancholy lyrics and sunny day-glo pop-punk reminded me of Green Day before they went utterly to shit. Finally, 'Goodman Tensag' is all about people being complacent to be spoonfed shit by the radio and bullshit 'talent' contests like The X Factor. It's the fastest song on the demo, the rapidfire drumming being remiscent of Lifetime...and who can hate a song that has the refrain of "Clear Channel can suck a dick"?
I thought this demo was fucking great and, hopefully, it'll be the sign of better things to come. Check it out or, better yet, sort these boys out with a show!