Album Reviews

Tap Tap – Lanzafame

(Stolen Recordings) UK release date: 8 January 2007

While you never want to bestow too much praise on any individual recordlabel for fear of coming across as partisan, London’s Stolen Recordings arereason enough to urinate into the wind.

This new release by Tap Tap, who featured on thelabel’s superb twenty-one track compilation LP last year (also check outMadam and Lishka), comes with immaculate artwork of a giant elephantpresiding over the vast South African plains, and, though I don’t know quite whatit has to do with the vintage indie twiddling found inside, the concomitanteffect of art and music is typically brilliant.

Take prime Hefner and skewer it into a different mix and you’llpossibly come up with Tom Sanders, the brains behind this superbly ebbing albumof lunar guitar play and starry-eyed vocals.

Highlights are sprinkled throughout the thirty-minute cut with liberal brilliance, and the sheer fun rangesfrom the intricately wrought tempos of opener 100,000 Thoughts to thelanguorous pleating of What A Clever Thing To Say.

All is underpinned by Sanders’ grounded sensibility, which gives thesongs a poignancy to die for. Sanders exists right on the edge of numbers like IAm A Kite and Way To Go, Boy, seemingly reluctant to put himself forward toomuch as guitars flutter with the shortened wingspan of vampire bats, yetquietly informs them with a poetry one-tenth bashful and nine-tenths brimmingwith life.

The songs of Lanzafame, rolling into each other with a certainQuo-like ease (oh yes), are epic in its best, most humble sense, the LPseeming like it’s been recorded sideways in an upside-down magic shack.

Pete and the Pirates deserve a mention for the factthat the track She Doesn’t Belong featured on their similar Stop Wait Beginset last year, and to single out a couple of other off-key nuggets, To OurContinued Friendship is the sound of dancing with shadows on the happiest nightof your tragicomic life of capsized loves, and Off The Beaten Track is likeHalf Man Half Biscuit etching out ebullient wonder with a slightlyheavy heart.

Tap Tap’s wonderful musical concoction underpins the profound relationbetween label and band, and the magic of art comes from the whole Lanzafamepackage like a tricks box from noble times.

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Tap Tap – Lanzafame