Tatami is a three-piece band from Massachusetts that recently released a five-song EP entitled Sleep Day EP. The band consisting of Mason Cheek (guitar/vocals), Elliot Ross (vocals, bass) and Marc Friedman (drums) play noise/garage rock that have a punk sensibility.
I like the band’s attitude and some of the songs were decent but it’s hard to get past the quality of the recordings. They are muddy while still having piercing high frequencies. Perhaps the worst part was the extremely noticeable white noise. There is an easy fix to this problem - turn down the preamp and turn up the music when you record.
I was trying to get past the quality of the recording and was able to do so on some songs while not on others. The first song had enough garage rock vibe that it was somewhat excusable. Forget about understanding the lyrics the song is all about the attitude. The slacker type vocals were conducive to the music and worked quite well.
The second song “Sleep Day “ sounds like a recording from a Modest Mouse concert. On the next track “Lazy Eye,” which is the highlight of the three there is some resemblance to Modest Mouse but not quite as overt. The vocal harmonies were the most notable aspect of the music and quite effective at creating dynamics within the song
The closing track “Bucket” has some decent ideas but unfortunately gets lost in translation. That being said I thought the vocals were strong on this song. The vocalist sounds good at a lower octave and had this Stephen Malkmus thing going on. I'll take it. They were also getting some inventive sounds out of their guitars.
Tatami are still searching for their own sound and are a bit too derivative of more popular bands at times but they do have some inspired moments on the Sleep Day EP. My advice here is simple. Don’t release your next EP or album until you befriend an engineer or save up enough cash to get into a proper studio.
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