What you make of Tempo No Tempo’s second EP may well depend on your stance towards new music as a whole. If danceable, catchy songs are what you’re after than the Bay Area quartet should be an enticing prospect, but if originality and ingenuity are prerequisites of your taste then Repetitions may well fall short. Of the five tracks here the title-track is perhaps the strongest, reminiscent of Cold War Kids’ steely swagger, though Tyler McCauley’s vocals are unable to match those of the effortlessly debonair Nathan Willett. “Irregular Heartbearts” is more indicative of Tempo No Tempo’s first offering The Get Down, its jerky, danceable post-punk likely to provoke painful memories for those still mourning the demise of Q and Not U. Elsewhere, “Narrowed Scopes and Sharpened Knives” is an interesting blend of brazenly uncool keyboards and Chris Cadena’s more urbane vocals (which, at times, stray a little too close to the Bravery for comfort), held together by an effective dance-punk beat, while the uncharacteristic sedation of “Headlights” thankfully adds another shade to Tempo No Tempo’s palette. The end result of all of this is an enjoyable, raw-sounding collection of songs; no more, no less. It won’t change your life, but it should just about get you dancing. What’s more, given the progress shown on Repetitions from its more immature, less adventurous predecessor, Tempo No Tempo’s next offering should at the very least be worth a look-in.
// Notes from the Road
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