Parades
Foreign Tapes


4.5
superb

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 21st, 2010 | 1810 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you're going to listen to one new band this year, make it Parades. Foreign Tapes is an album of 2010 contender.

No matter how much one denigrates the music industry and its lack of originality from year to year, there is bound to be at least one act that appears out of nowhere to place a smile on an individuals face and restore his or her faith in this fantastic thing we call music. In 2010, that act is Sydney quartet Parades. It may have taken a great deal of time - they have been playing together throughout their teenage years - but their debut LP 'Foreign Tapes' is finally upon us... And my word, was it worth the wait! One needs only to listen to opener 'Dead Nationale' to realize this. Beginning with almost Latin-sounding guitar chords, incessant drums and smooth as silk vocals, it builds up tensely before electric guitar joins the party for a gratifying crescendo of sound during a jaw-dropping extended jam. 'Hunters' follows, introducing even more elements; the angelic co-lead vocals of Rebecca Shave, glorious piano and a joyous sing-along. Yet, these are not mutually exclusive components at all, since Parades masterfully juxtapose these with thumping drums and killer guitar lines.

Difficult to pigeon-hole, Parades could be broadly defined as being an art-rock band. Elements of multi-faceted indie, ethereal dream-pop soundscapes and even complex post-rock are apparent however, with 'Foreign Tapes' exuding a spontaneous nature to many of its outstanding compositions which lessens predictability. 'Loserspeak In New Tongue' may be the most accessible song here, yet it is far from formulaic... The guitar-work from Daniel Cunningham and Tim Jenkins for instance, moves from gentle to angular to distorted in a matter of moments. Similarly, penultimate track 'Marigold' has a conventional chorus, but is hardly radio material at almost seven minutes in length. Parades show maturity beyond their years in knowing when to hold back and when to come thundering in with a chosen ingredient. One moment it may be horns - see the gorgeous climax of 'Past Lives' - the next it may be those aforementioned electric guitars, which give the album a required grit at just the right times. Closer ‘Vulturehood’ would even make Led Zeppelin proud!

Vocally, 'Foreign Tapes' is resplendent. Benefiting from the fact that the quartet includes two first-class vocalists - guitarist Cunningham and drummer Jonathan Boulet - Parades do not even let that hinder their capabilities, consistently bringing in female vocalist Shave to give them an extra dimension. The inevitable call and response male/female vocals work well on 'Invaders (Review)', a cut which kick-starts the more ambient electronic mid-section which is highlighted by 'Lung Full of Light'. A piece so stunning and expansive that it could easily have fit on both the 'Air' and 'Water' volumes of Thrice's Alchemy Index, Shave is outstanding over lovely piano here. Simply put, 'Foreign Tapes' ebbs and flows brilliantly and naturally, both from track to track and within songs themselves. Again, it is Parades who should take full credit for this since they self-produced the album... Although, one cannot help but get the feeling that wunderkind Boulet may have been in charge since his drums are satisfyingly high in the mix.

Searching for weaknesses on this grand and wonderfully ambitious album is a difficult task. Including what are practically two interludes on a ten track LP could be argued, but they assist the flow so exceptionally and the overall duration is still a pleasing 42 minutes. The biggest weakness could in fact be that this release could have been even better had it included the earthy highlights from Boulet's self-titled LP which was released late last year (What a selfish ba$tard!) That said, even referring to what may have been contained here is doing a disservice to the ten brilliantly crafted and awe-inspiring tracks which do comprise 'Foreign Tapes'. Whether you are an extroverted indie-hipster, introverted post-rocker, or just a good old-fashioned fan of either pop or rock; do yourself a favor and let this triumphant album win you over. If you are going to listen to one new band in 2010, make it Parades since 'Foreign Tapes' is a genuinely exciting album of the year contender.

Recommended Tracks: Marigold, Loserspeak In New Tongue, Dead Nationale, Hunters & Lung Full of Light.



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user ratings (273)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Sam Feldman's Rating (4.5)
...

BohemianAle (5)
The Sydney quartet has gone through many incarnations, changing names and styles left and right, wit...

David James Young (5)
I still see the universe in you....

David Driver (3.5)
A solid debut from a band that still needs a little bit more time to grow....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is an album that just makes me wanna use big words, long paragraphs and exclamation points in an attempt to convey its brilliance.

Its neck & neck with Foals' 'Total Life Forever' for my Album of the Year thus far!


SeaAnemone
June 21st 2010


20953 Comments


so many recommended by reviewer... what does it mean if I like all those?

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Eric, it's more because I couldn't pin this album/band down to one specific comparison. So basically, take a lot of little components of those 10 albums, mesh them together & voila.

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol at recs i have to get this

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

SeaAnemone
June 21st 2010


20953 Comments


sounds interesting from the review... a hell of a lot of diversity for a 10 track album! Definitely sounds up my alley though... I'll give it a try eventually.

EVedder27
June 21st 2010


6088 Comments


holy shit I didn't know you could rec that much haha. Nice review Davey I may get

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm amping up the hyperbole (in the recs & summary) to get people to listen to this.

I still think fellow staffers Alex & Mike really wanted to give this a 4.5 too. They're just shy of the hyperbole.

Mike, you can only rec 4 at a time, but if you keep going back & editing your review, you can add more.

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 21st 2010


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha maybe

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Don't be so shy Mike. Come out of your shell.

LG
June 21st 2010


3049 Comments


The LG gives this his stamp of approval.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


17231 Comments


getting now, even though you used one of my least favorite words in your review...

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Led Zeppelin?

Dryden
June 21st 2010


13276 Comments


is this jazz

Spare
June 21st 2010


5449 Comments


probably won't get because lol daveyboy but this actually looks good so yeah maybe

Digging: Forth Wanderers - Tough Love

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 21st 2010


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYEsYes

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"The LG gives this his stamp of approval." The review, the album or both.

"getting now, even though you used one of my least favorite words in your review..." Don't keep us in suspense Adam... My money is on "juxtapose" or "wunderkind"

"probably won't get because lol daveyboy but this actually looks good so yeah maybe" Be nice Spare... Good things come to those who are patient... I will come through with the goods for you one day. Hopefully it is this time around.

"YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYEsYes" Come on Alex, help me hype this. And why not a 4.5... Hard-ass!


LG
June 21st 2010


3049 Comments


Hmm I forgot...no wait I remember..............nvm its gone.




StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 21st 2010


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Second best album of the damn year god fucking dammit everybody listen to this.

okay? yes?

YEs.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Just say "both" LG... We know it's true. If I have the power to make you change your user-name, you are putty in my hands.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Alex, stop babbling incoherently like a kid in a candy shop and copy and paste that little blurb you wrote in the comments section of your latest list. It will at least explain why I put so many recommended albums here.



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