Battle Tapes
Gig Seeker Pro

Battle Tapes

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Electro




"RAVE’S FAVES: Battle Tapes – Sweatshop Boys"

By Bruce Rave

OK I’ll admit it, I rarely “fave” unsigned bands. After Battle Tapes played a great Moheak show at The Satellite LA last Saturday night, we thought we’d give “Sweatshop Boys” a spin for the guest panel on Thursday’s Moheak Music Meeting program. The song title alone is almost worth the spin, but this song was the highest rated track on the show, beating out numerous heavies. Capitol’s Executive Vice President of A&R Alex Luke even gave it a top rating. The bass line will hit you right away. Think of Nine Inch Nails meeting The Faint, only a not as dark. - Blahblahblahscience


On an average Saturday, I’m pretty content to laze about on the East Side, not even considering traveling across our fair city. It’s not out of derision or anything; it’s just that it’s far. And expensive. However, when someone hands you a pair of tickets and says “Go see Linkin Park,” you take the tickets. So instead of sitting on my butt all day, I made my way out to the Sunset Strip this weekend for the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Why? To gorge myself on rock music, most of which I first listened to over ten years ago.

The first band I got around to seeing was Battle Tapes. If you’ve been keeping up with the LA Music Blogcast, then you’re probably aware of who these guys are. Their music is a distortion-heavy, low-frequency rock ‘n roll assault.
It’s worth mentioning that they’ve gone beyond the normal power trio to include synthesizers and the like into their production. The result isn’t a poppy dance rock band (like you might expect from just reading about them on paper), but something with a little bit more… force. Blogger Blahblahblahscience got it pretty much dead on: “Think of Nine Inch Nails meeting The Faint, only not as dark.” Checking them out while munching on an extremely fancy grilled cheese sandwich from one of the many food trucks was a great preparation for the remainder of the afternoon.
The Sunset Strip Music Festival is ideal for two purposes. The first is checking out new and upcoming bands, such as Battle Tapes. The second is allowing yourself to drown in nostalgia. - LA Music Blog

"Battle Tapes Drop Infectious Dark-Dance ‘Valkyrie’"

Los Angeles synth-sex rockers Battle Tapes have returned with a glorious video precursor to their hotly anticipated debut album Polygon (out November 20). Crave is proud to premiere the first taste of what’s to come with the video for the infectious single “Valkyrie”. The pulsing, upbeat track is supported by a cinematically lit live-performance video.

“We often look upon the past with the notion that they really don't make them like they used to," frontman Josh Boardman explains. "Valkyrie is a gentle reminder that we've always been out of our minds.”

“It’s slightly ironic how advancements in technology haven’t necessarily produced advancements in our culture," Josh continues. "If anything, it’s only helped reveal our outrage-of-the-week, celebri-lusting tendencies. But at the end of the day, what did we really expect? I mean, you can give an ape an iPhone, but don’t be surprised when he uses it to tweet about bananas. So I guess that’s what ‘Valkyrie’ is about to me. Banana Tweets.”

Recently, EA (Electronic Arts) announced "Valkyrie" will be featured on the soundtrack in the upcoming game release of Need for Speed, available November 5.

Performed, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered entirely by the band and frontman Josh Boardman, Polygon is the culmination of years the band spent writing and crafting a musical template that blurs the intersection of multiple music genres.

Previously, Battle Tapes released two acclaimed EPs: Sleepwalker (2011) and Sweatshop Boys (2012), which featured music in Grand Theft Auto V and was used extensively in films including Paranoia and Need For Speed, as well as television shows on CBS, CW, NBC and MTV networks.

Battle Tapes is Josh Boardman (vox/guitar/synth), Riley Mackin (keys/vox), Stephen Bannister (bass), Beak Wing (drums/percussion).

Currently, the band is wrapping their west coast tour with additional shows to be announced in the coming weeks. Keep up with the band on Facebook and their official site, where you can pre-order Polygon. We've heard it, and you're most definitely going to want this true motherfucker of a record.

Read more at - Crave Online

"Video: Battle Tapes, ‘Valkyrie’"

On their 2011 and ’12 EPs, Battle Tapes’ sound ranged from dance-floor-friendly (and aggressive) electro to almost Big Black Delta-like experimentation. Make no mistake, the L.A. quartet is engaged in making rock music, no matter what all those synthesizers might lead you to think. And the band — singer-guitarist-synth player Josh Boardman, keyboardist-singer Riley Mackin, bassist Stephen Bannister and percussionist Beak Wing — have come out blazing on the first single from their long-awaited full-length debut. It’s titled “Valkyrie,” and its release comes this week via the new EA game “Need for Speed.” It’s not the first video game placement for Battle Tapes; in 2012, “Feel the Same” made its way into “Grand Theft Auto V.” But it’s a nice introduction to the quartet’s album “Polygon,” out Nov. 20. It’s one of those synth-drenched records with moments for both pop lovers and rockists. The album, a completely DIY affair (performed, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Boardman and crew), also features a guest spot from singer Alana Belle Carol of Party Nails. Director Eli Berg helms the video for the first single. -


Let’s set one thing straight first, any band that has a song in their catalogue called ‘Sweatshop Boys’ is bound to have some sort of potential and thankfully Los Angeles four piece BATTLE TAPES have come storming out of the blocks with a fine (and long overdue) debut album in ‘Polygon’.

Although the said Tennant / Lowe parodying song is not present here (it was the title track on an EP released in 2012), there are ten tracks which do an excellent job at filling an electronic musical void that’s existed for quite a while now.

SOULWAX, SPLEEN UNITED, INNERPARTYSYSTEM and LCD SOUNDSYSTEM have all successfully managed the often tricky task of mixing live instruments with synths and sequencers in a seamless fashion, but with the former two in hiatus and the latter artists no longer around, there is a genuine gap in the market for an electronic-based act that isn’t overly self-conscious and isn’t afraid to rock out with their synths…

‘Polygon’ starts with a statement of intent in ‘Belgrade’, a high-octane track with a Motown backbeat and distorted synths which ape the NEW ORDER sampling ‘Operation Blade’. With a blistering opening which deploys the track’s breakdown section before the vocals kick in, ‘Belgrade’ gives a pretty implicit idea of the musical content that awaits the listener inside…

Following closely on its heels is the single ‘Valkyrie’ which has one of those earworm chorus melodies which once embedded in your skull will quite possibly keep you awake at night. Bass sequencers are let loose in the second verse and the oblique nature of the lyrics with reference to “swinging of d***s” and “dancing with the devil sweating gasoline” mean that repeated listens don’t diminish the appeal of the song one iota. An uplifting and ascending instrumental EDM-style middle eight helps break away from the Wall of Sound before the chorus returns at the end.

BATTLE TAPES 02The cowbell-tastic ‘Solid Gold’ features guest vocals from PARTY NAILS singer Elena Belle Carroll and has more combined swagger than DAVID BOWIE and LOU REED at a seedy 70s Berlin nightclub. Built around a ‘Fame’-style guitar riff, the track grooves along seductively before hitting a wonderful middle eight / outro section giving the song a more contemporary edge and ending with a squealing synced oscillator synth solo.

‘Private Dancer’ takes some of its cues from French duo JUSTICE and also throws some vocoder into the mix. Once it fully reveals itself, the “You give me all your money, I’ll be your private dancer” vocal sounds like one of KRAFTWERK’s robots getting jacked up on cheap booze and moonlighting for extra Euros at a lap dance club.

The first of two instrumentals ‘Dreamboat’ is all rippling arpeggiators, whilst the other, the epic ‘Mulholland’ has the sort of Synthwave sound which wouldn’t have been out of the place on the ‘Drive’ soundtrack. Low slung Reese bass lines, handclaps and retro synth sounds put both of these tracks in the same sort of (electronic) club as CARPENTER BRUT and PERTURBATOR.

‘Graveyard Shift’ is probably the most conventionally rock track here, albeit with the sort of swampy guitar figure which Martin Gore would have been more than happy to have written – whilst the chorus and general vocal sound recall Josh Homme from QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. Closing track ‘Again’ is a bit of a curveball, starting off low-key fashion and not unlike a long-lost ‘Golden Age of Wireless’-era THOMAS DOLBY track, building gradually with half-time drums before hitting the 4/4 button and climaxing with a formant vocal synth part.

BATTLE TAPES are SO needed right now, especially from a live perspective… too many synth-oriented acts have little or no idea how to translate their studio sound into a viable format that can be delivered to a live audience.

Unless you happen to be lucky enough to have the stage presence and songs of, say EAST INDIA YOUTH, a singer accompanied by a synth player looking apologetic whilst prodding buttons behind a laptop does not an entertaining live show make.

Although it’s taken a while to emerge (the band were formed in 2010), the wait has been worth it for ‘Polygon’ with what is one of the most consistently thrilling albums you’ll hear this year.

Let battle commence… - The Electricity Club


Sleepwalker EP - 2011
Sweatshop Boys EP - 2012

Polygon - 2015



Battle Tapes is an electro synth rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in late 2010 by frontman Josh Boardman the band features keyboardist Riley Mackin, bassist Stephen Bannister and drummer Beak Wing.

Battle Tapes released their first body of work, Sleepwalker in the Summer of 2011. The self-released six-track EP features the standout track of the same name, as well as remix contributions from fellow up-and-coming artists. The group released their second EP, Sweatshop Boys in the Spring of 2012, further blurring the lines between indie rock and dance music. 

The band's first full length album, Polygon, is set to be released in November, 2015.  Ahead of the release, the band is touring the west coast.

The Band has recently been featured in various movie trailers, TV shows, and video games, most recently, Need For Speed 2015.

Battle Tapes performs regularly in the Los Angeles area, at venues throughout Hollywood, Silver Lake and Echo Park.

Band Members