Stoners often try too hard at embracing the high life, this idea is often amplified in musical creation. Whether it is a flowery, strung out rhythm or a lyric as base as “do you wanna get high”, stoner rock has always depended on cultures interest and disinterest in the marijuana plant. Matt Adams, DA Humphrey, and Pearl Charles make up the stoner rock group The Blank Tapes, and they’re as heady as they come. Conceived on the California coast, under the supervision and songwriting of multi-instrumentalist and front man Matt Adams, The Blank Tapes have made a name for themselves, touring across America, Europe, Brazil, and Japan. They’re break-out album, Vacation released in 2012 by Antenna Farm Records/Burger Records, widened their fan base allowing them to tour worldwide and release previous material forged prior to the band’s success. Recorded in 2010 in San Francisco, Geodesic Dome Piece is a 12 track compilation of weed induced psychedelic pop-rock now available to the public via Royal Oakie Records and Tapes.
There isn’t one track that isn’t related to the emerald herb, which is bad for those looking for any serious meaning, and good for those who actually know the mindset to have when going into a stoner rock album. Geodesic Dome Piece is a lighthearted, psychedelic, dream-pop jam out meant for anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and is looking for some real attack in the musicianship department. In tracks “Oh My My” and “Magic Leaves” it’s easy to get a feel of how 60’s psychedelic influenced – and continues to influence – Adam’s sound and songwriting approach. The sitar is used with precision throughout the work, especially in the seventh track “Oh My Muzak”. It’s as if Matt Adam’s modernizes the instrument into something very unlike traditional recordings. This, if anything, is a testament to the band’s cohesion and overall playing ability. From song to song, this album flows nicely, however, there are some negatives. Like anything released within the stoner rock genre, the listener has to expect and accept a few things. First, repetitiveness is king in lyricism, there’s not a whole lot going on poetically (usually). Second, while a song might be repetitive, don’t expect a concrete structured roadmap from point A to point B. And lastly, one needs to accept the occasional jam-out even if it is unexpected and lengthy. When these small diversions are seen more as a positive then a negative, this album and the genre as a whole becomes more enjoyable.
The Blank Tapes’ Geodesic Dome Piece is an album filled with humor, wizard-like instrumentation, and the occasional bong rip, resulting in a carefree work of celebrated self-expression. A genre well in need of some revival and renewal, Geodesic Dome Piece hits it out of the park.