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DeWolff – Tascam Tapes – review

Genre: PSYCHEDELIC ROCK/SOUTHERN ROCK

Released by: Mascot Records

Release date: Out Now

Line up:

Pablo Van De Poel – Vocals, Guitar

Luka Van De Poel – Drums

Robin Piso – Vocals, Keyboard

 

Track-list:

  1. Northpole Blues
  2. Blood Meridian I
  3. It Ain’t Easy
  4. Rain
  5. Made it to 27
  6. Nothing’s Changing
  7. Let it Fly
  8. Blood Meridian II
  9. Awesomeness of Love
  10. Love is Such a Waste
  11. Am I Losing My Mind
  12. Life in a Fish Tank

As someone who from a very young age was shamelessly drawn to albums by their artwork, this particular offering does little to stimulate the senses visually, it does however, profess to have been produced for the neat little sum of $50 (or less) and sound like a million bucks – an ambitious claim perhaps, but intriguing nevertheless, particularly when the trio involved are the undeniably talented DeWolff.

Opener ‘North Pole Blues’ has me instantly transported to a sunny day in the 70’s and is reminiscent of something The Allman Brothers or The Doobie Brothers would have produced back in the day, backing vocals in all the right places ramp up the overall retro feel which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album.

‘Rain’ has a faint edge of melancholy and an underlying ‘country style’ feel to it which ties in perfectly with the overall sound of the record, however the highlights of this album for me are undoubtedly ‘Made it to 27’, an upbeat Southern Rock tune with superb bluesy guitar licks and ‘Blood Meridian I and II’.  Although these two songs have a story, they do not run into each other but are separated by five seemingly unrelated tracks making the correlation between them not immediately evident.  They both lean heavily on the use of synthesizer which contributes to a somewhat otherworldly feel. Blood Meridian II features an interesting percussive sound which sounds like drumming on metal – not beyond the realms of possibility perhaps, given the nature of this recording and although the sound is fantastic throughout, to me this adds an edge that is raw and rustic, and it just works.

 

An impressive twelve, sunny day, road tripping tracks have been packed into this release, which was recorded on a Tascam Porta Two – a four track cassette recorder from the 80’s.  A sampler loaded with drum beats and a battery powered synthesizer were thrown into the mix to create a portable recording studio and truth be told, if you were listening blindly – you wouldn’t know.  It is vocally and musically superb which must be credited to the expertise of the musicians and the sound is crystal clear which is quite phenomenal considering some of the locations used for recording.  Life on the road must agree with DeWolff who have drawn on inspiration from a four month European tour, with not an opportunity wasted to write and produce.

I can only imagine that this hard working band were too busy making music and playing sold out shows to stress over album artwork, yet it’s clever, in fact, in summation of this record, its perfect.  I conclude, they totally pulled it off and then some – it does what it says on the tin!

 

SCORE: 10/10

REVIEWER: Karen Hetherington

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