Raccoon Valley Recordings is the debut album from The Heat Tape, and man do they get the adrenaline going! When I took a first run through of the album I thought, “What kind of cheap wannabe punk shit is this!?” In all reality, just the way it was recorded was unexpected. With how easy home recording can be and the advances in it as well, I expect a half way decent sound out of anything I listen to. But after a second listen I fell in love with the way they went about this: lo-fi garage punk. This also made it sound like a live house show with the constant feedback from the guitar. This album may be a debut, but it doesn’t sound like it at all; it reminds me of an already famous and developed band that got passed it’s musical innocents of their first couple of albums and matured it’s talent while still keeping it’s youthful lyrics (hangovers, heartbreak, losing it). The catchy lyrics and riffs of The Heat Tape will get you hooked right away.
I was about to give this album a 9 because of my love-hate for the low budget home recording style and the fact that I would have rather heard this like a more studio album, but I figured that was a personal problem. If you feel the same way I do, play it over and over again. It’ll grow on you.
– Kelia Iha