TAPE REVIEW: New Tongues – SUITE

By Ted Jamison /// Staff Writer 

Mission Statement:

Alright, let’s get some things sorted. I’m not here to lecture you on Pitchfork’s “Best New Music,” nor will I sit here and recite what I just read on Stereogum. My goal: pure, D.I.Y. archaeology. Let’s kick dust.

Artist: New Tongues

Tape: Suite

Label: Already Dead Tapes

Genre: Post-punk, noise

Artist Location: Columbia, MO

Web: newtongues.bandcamp.com

On their Bandcamp page, New Tongues writes that Suite is a “follow up EP” to their 2013 release We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For. I cannot speak for their first album, but I can tell you that this short and sweet EP inspires me to scrape up all of their material and give it a good hard listen.

Though the tape contains four tracks, clocking in at around 22 minutes long, I felt as if I’d been hit with the force of an hour-long epic. I attribute this feeling to two primary factors. This tape is loud, and the listener feels the brunt of its shove in searing, serrated guitar and in synchronized full-band rhythmic jabs. Secondly, instrumental jam tracks like “Escape Hoods” initiate some sort of rip in time perception, stretching a four minute tune to feel more like forty.

Meditation in aural exertion. It feels good.

There is plenty of rhythmic play throughout the tape and the vocals work, as a kind of baritone blend of Jim Morrison and Protomartyr’s Joe Casey. The lyrics at times do seem a bit heavy handed; the EP’s first tune, “Suicide Nets,” begins with, “The ledge is not your friend today.” Yikes. That being said, I want to be sensitive to New Tongues’ perspective. If the lyrics were written from a place of sincerity, they could certainly serve a purpose to some ears and emotional states in need.

The band claims that this EP was recorded in a single weekend in Columbia, at “an undisclosed location, using a mobile recording studio.” They say, “Iit was a experiment of sorts to see if we could record a record under some unique conditions.” After listening, I think it is pretty clear that they can.

Rating: 3.9/5

ABOUT THE LABEL:

I said I wouldn’t cover the same label twice. I lied. Already Dead Tapes is worth it. Already Dead Tapes is a Chicago-based tape label. Label Head Joshua Tabbia claims to be very into the idea of tape as a collectible. This is indicated in Already Dead’s unique packaging and eye-pleasing aesthetic, which is one of the main reasons that Already Dead has rocketed to the fore as one of my favorite tape labels. The label advertises itself as “very DIY”. Tabbia does a lot of the tape dubbing and j-card artwork himself.

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