It took Germany’s TAPE a bit more than three years to release their second album. The follow-up to 2003’s “#1” is simply entitled “#2” and basically picks up where the first effort left off. Somewhere between Nu Metal and alternative Rock, the quintet walks through the twelve new tracks and is about as convincing as it was on the debut.
Of course, vocalist Peti van der Velde still is the band’s figurehead, for even though this sounds somewhat unfair towards the other band members, without the charismatic vocals the band would have been one out of many and would have had a harder time trying to become as famous as they are now. The lady’s faceted vocal style is absolutely impressive and manages to surprise you time and again. If you weren’t overwhelmed by thick guitars all the time, TAPE would probably be successful in other genres as well. Either way, “#2” lives up to all of the expectations that you could possibly have, and that’s a good thing, even though ultimately there are no real surprises.
You won’t find any lowlights on the new record, though, from the groovy opener “24/7” to the poppy “T-Minus”. In between you get entertaining stuff in the form of “Playhouse”, “Suffocate”, “Smile” or “Knock Out”. Regarding the production, TAPE managed to up the ante, for the sophomore effort has become much heavier and more powerful than the debut. The move from the major label EastWest to Germany’s Tiefdruck Musik didn’t result in a decrease in quality either but allowed the band to keep working on their usual high level.
That’s why all those who have already bought "#1“ will be satisfied with the new album, too. Whether they will be able to repeat the successes of the last years remains to be seen, though the odds are good, and with such a polished record behind them, success should fall into their lap. TAPE would certainly deserve it.
(Online April 22, 2007)