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Mixtapes - Maps (Cover Artwork)

Mixtapes

Mixtapes: MapsMaps (2010)
Death to False Hope

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Maps, the debut from Cincinnati, OH/Detroit, MI outfit Mixtapes, can be summed up using fragmented talking points: Ten songs in 18 minutes. Male and female vocals. A restrained, adorably awkward predisposition. Poppy, punchy and heartfelt, sometimes simultaneously. A sort of relatability that's unde.
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Maps, the debut from Cincinnati, OH/Detroit, MI outfit Mixtapes, can be summed up using fragmented talking points: Ten songs in 18 minutes. Male and female vocals. A restrained, adorably awkward predisposition. Poppy, punchy and heartfelt, sometimes simultaneously. A sort of relatability that's undeniable.

But that doesn't even do it justice. The songs on Maps are shockingly polished, surprisingly mature and occasionally brilliant. All this from a band that literally came out of nowhere.

The 1-2 punch of "Sunrise" and "Maps" sort of function as one cohesive piece, starting as a subdued number before delving into pounding, anthemic drum beats and choice piano parts, all anchored by the approach of the two vocalists. Ryan's voice toes the line between snottiness and sincerity, while Maura's pipes are slightly raspy, but almost always commanding, and it's a little ridiculous how well they play off each other this early in the game. Their chemistry is even more apparent in "Nothing Can Kill the Grimace," where the two seamlessly trade lyrics while the most infectious guitar harmonies of 2010 hum around them. That song will likely end up on a lot of best-of-2010, ahem, mixtapes when all is said and done.

Mixtapes also tackle acoustic numbers with an aplomb beyond their years, with the vocal harmonies in "And If We Both Fail?" and the aforementioned heartfelt, sometimes humorous awkwardness in "OrangeYellow" serving as definite highlights. Conversely, the band takes on lightning-speed pop-punk in the 44-second "The Mixtapes Misplaced Missed Takes," and it's an entertaining jaunt that further confirms this band's talent and versatility, as well as their diverse influences.

Speaking of influences, tracks like "Road Apples" and "Hope Springs Eternal" ought to conjure up comparisons to Lemuria, especially the former. Likewise for "Moonglow," a song that wastes no time getting to its dramatic climax. It serves as a nice lead-in to "Sunsets," the unplugged closer that showcases the more vulnerable side of Maura's vocals and confirms the band's ability to write a killer chorus, despite the fact that most of the songs on Maps don't even contain a chorus. Showoffs.

Maps was posted to the band's MySpace page as a free download and not soon after, picked up by Death to False Hope Records for digital distribution. Time will tell what's next for Mixtapes, but whatever it is, it'll likely include a lot of well-deserved recognition.

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Hasheesh (September 6, 2010)

This is my number one of 2010 so far, I'll be surprised if anything bumps it out.

Rastid (July 1, 2010)

midway through the year, and this is still the top album so far...

seaxofxshit (June 22, 2010)

sick of this dude starting the same band over and over and over again

Zephir (June 19, 2010)

Just found this. This NEEDS a Vinyl release!! DEFINITELY top ten 2010.

johnnyz77 (April 27, 2010)

really good stuff. thanks!

timorous_me (April 6, 2010)

Really solid album.

Isingoutofkey (April 6, 2010)

Yeah I was in black tie bombers, woo

nocigar (April 6, 2010)

wow. incredible.

one of these guys was in Black Tie Bombers, right?

Isingoutofkey (April 5, 2010)

Honestly the reason there isn't a physical copy is because we never thought about it, at the time our drummer lived in Detroit and was always on tour with his band so we kind of recorded the album over the weekend and put it up, although we were happy about it we just never had a chance, if a label wanted to put it out we would be stoked, but right now we are just trying to play everywhere as much as possible and we already have like 8 new songs written so we are going to record those for something as well, thanks for all the nice comments, it took me by surprise, and made my day alot better.

Deadpan (April 5, 2010)

This is good, but like opthers have said, its brevity kind of works against it. It's not often I feel that songs need to be longer, but a lot of this just sounds incomplete. Pretty sweet, but it really does need more. Still, definitely a nice surprise. solid stuff.

blanktapesemptybottles (April 4, 2010)

this is great, but why isn't there a physical copy?

i-like-food (April 3, 2010)

god this is good. if each song was 45 seconds longer it would be beyond perfect

screeching_bottlerocket (April 3, 2010)

This was surprisingly good. I enjoy it.

greg0rb (April 2, 2010)

Out of all the google-proof band names out there, this may be the worst. Like the tunes though.

drewshaw (April 2, 2010)

This is awesome!

patod (April 2, 2010)

Best of 2010 so far.

ZappBrannigan (April 2, 2010)

This is a fantastic album, can't wait for more.

ohcomely (April 2, 2010)

Love it.

IanIsSuperRad (April 2, 2010)

This album totally took me by suprise. I love everything about it.

jetsto (April 2, 2010)

I like it a lot. Just wish it was longer

dropkicksoul (April 2, 2010)

Love this. "And if We Both Fail?" is the story of my life.

xshoutoutx (April 2, 2010)

band rules!

Babrook (April 2, 2010)

Didn't expect much out of this but it is a top 5 lock for 2010.

thesandwiches (April 2, 2010)

easily in the top 10 of 2010

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