Tango in the Attic: Sellotape

Tango in the Attic, SellotapeTango in the Attic: Sellotape
On paper, Tango in the Attic are far from unique. They are another young, lo-fi rock band writing songs about girls and sex. On the first minute of the album’s opener, “Stitch,” the band seems to recognize the odds they are up against and decide to bust out a crazed, dizzying flurry of guitar that attempts to assert one thing: this isn’t any run-of-the-mill indie record. And it isn’t. There are some inspired compositional elements to these songs, and the songwriting is solid across the board, aside from some repetitive choruses that almost seem like crutches. While there isn’t much to criticize in terms of composition, the songs do blur into each other a bit, making it hard to distinguish true standouts from the rest of the bunch.
The opener, “Stitch,” as stated, is a jolting three minutes that makes the comparably gentler follow-up, “Paw Prints,” seems like a bit of a letdown. One of the songs that does distinguish itself from the rest is “Suncream,” a standout that really allows for an emotional connection with vocalist Jordan Craig due to the strong songwriting. (Well, I can’t tell if it’s his emotive voice or infectious thick Scottish accent that makes Craig a more-than-capable vocalist. I’m going to say it’s a bit of both.) The next track, “Mona Lisa Overdrive,” display vintage Strokes influences that are impossible to ignore and would only be intensified if Julian Casablancas had a similarly Scottish accent. The album closes on a high note, with each of the last three songs displaying a different strength of Tango in the Attic. “Chewing Gum” is simple and angry, with some guitar that suits the song perfectly. “Swimming Pool” is a departure from the rest of the album, taking a bit of a darker tone. Its haunting opening sounds straight out of a Salem song. Slowly the darkness recedes a bit and Craig’s voice breaks through with loads of reverb. It’s a bit slower than the rest of the songs, but it fits nicely in the context of the album. The bluntly titled “Family Sucks” closes the album. Parts of it bear a subtle likeness to Wavves’ 2010 album, King of the Beach. It concludes a solid 1-2-3 punch at the back end of the album that leaves you with good vibes as the music fades out.
Overall, the joy of this album lies in its consistently strong execution. While you are unlikely to find anything truly unique on the album (and at times the influences can be so pronounced that you get a bit of a cookie-cutter indie rock scent), the songwriting and production are undeniably strong. Tango in the Attic certainly fit comfortably into the crowded indie rock scene, they just might struggle to stand out among the crowd.
Rating: 7.6/10
MP3: Tango in the Attic “Chewing Gum”
Buy: iTunes