THE DICTAPHONE “TP HSS” (Crudités Tapes)

It’s hard to revisit and re-review a tape you’ve already done, which is the case for me with The Dictaphone, a swell post-punk outfit from France. I’ve spent many an hour poring over the words I wanted to spill upon them and their super cool release Tp Hss, which is extra super cool because all traces of vowels have been removed from the title (take that, you stupid vowels!). Those words coalesced into a godlike falcon creature that became a review at Critical Masses. Do I want to take that time again? No. Am I going to revisit The Dictaphone because I liked them the first time around? Hell to the yes.

But first, why don’t you wander memory lane a little bit and take a gander at those deliberately crafted odes I originally penned? I was in a particularly patriotic mood that day, apparently.

Are the beats still sparse, the low end still heavy, the high end cloaked in effects? You betcha. I feel the same amount of cynicism oozing from the tape reels as I did the first time. Suicide, A-Frames, Joy Division, all make appearances as spectral inspirations for The Dictaphone. The band churns out nihilistic anthems in a workmanlike fashion, but ropes you in to the proceedings with a sinister catchiness that’s impossible to ignore. Imagine The Dictaphone at the forefront of the decline of Western civilization, ushering in a grand new era while we eat it up like monkeys who are super hungry for banana-flavored social change. In the words of the illustrious Padmé Amidala, “So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.” I’m clapping my ass off.

--Ryan Masteller