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Seville, Ohio, United States | SELF

Seville, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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"Tape-Toons Mice in the Wall"

Real sloppy rock from Kent’s Tape-Toons. This is the first I’ve heard of ‘em, but they got that slacked-out throwing-noise-around I-can’t-explain-what’s-in-my-brain-and-I-don’t-give-shits thing down pat, and damn, I love that. They’re playing the Grog Shop May 14th, check out ‘Mice In The Walls‘ now.

- Headnodz.fm


The Glorious Noise of Tape-Toons

“Tape-Toons is noise, feedback, busted cymbals and three guys who are trying to make your ears bleed,” said the band’s artist, Bobby Makar.

A Kent-based alternative rock band making music from the gutters, Tape-Toons consists of singer/guitarist Andrew Bittaker, bassist Allen Bittaker and drummer Dylan Gomez.

Andrew and Gomez met as music majors at Kent State University and previously played together in the short-lived Mothership Jellyfish. After the band’s demise, the two musicians began working with Bittaker’s younger brother, forming Tape-Toons in the summer of 2009.

Before Tape-Toons, Andrew was always in the background, writing songs and playing guitar, but never taking control. Tape-Toons allowed him to work with different ideas and styles.

“This is the most comfortable I have ever been in a band,” the singer said. “That’s why I had to get Allen, because we’ve always worked well together.”

Even though the band’s influences range from everything to nothing at the same time, the members particularly enjoy My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, and The Velvet Underground—music that had a big impact on the singer as a kid.

“I’m mainly influenced in things that make me want to not be like other bands,” the singer said, adding, “Most bands are trying to copy what’s popular and what they assume sounds good. It’s just so repetitive.”

In September 2010, Tape-Toons released their debut album, Gravel Love—“a nine-track collection of the heartbreak and struggle of youth in the Midwest,” Andrew said.

The band is currently saving money to record their next album in Chicago with Steve Albini, a producer who has worked with many well-known musicians.

“Gravel Love was more psychedelic and picturesque, with slewed lyrics that lacked linear thoughts,” the singer said. “I’m trying to be more straight-forward with the next record.”

Unimpressed by the modern rock scene, Andrew is interested in sounding different and wants to take Tape-Toons one step further. He admitted Tape-Toons’ music is changing, but that the band has always been about progression. This doesn’t mean they’re toning it down, but instead turning up the weird.

“I just bought a loop pedal, which we’ve never messed with before,” he said. “It’s like having more than one guitarist.”

The singer is not concerned with the fans’ reaction to the upcoming record, but he hopes it will be shocking.

“I’m doing this for myself,” he said. “It’s selfish art.”

While their albums only offer a dose of intensity, the band’s live shows are suspenseful and dangerous. Though the performances are improvised, Andrew wants the audience to expect something different and fun.

“They are a band that is not afraid to be abrasive. They are not afraid of being embarrassingly honest. And they are not afraid to break strings, get banged up or completely lose control of themselves while playing the music they want to play,” Makar said.

The members may dress in women’s clothes. The singer may grind beer bottles against his guitar strings, or suddenly fall to the floor kicking and squirming. They may cause brain damage, nervous breakdowns and physical injuries, but mostly to themselves. Who knows? It’s spontaneous. It’s hyperactive. And it’s synchronized. It’s messy-shitty-dumpster-rock.

“People come to see a show,” Andrew said. “But pop acts are just so fuckin’ boring, and rock ‘n’ roll right now is just so dry and pussy.”

There’s never a lack of energy from the band, or excitement from the audience. The singer wants people to think something dangerous is going to happen. There’s always a surprise.

Tape-Toons have upcoming shows at The Fallout Shelter in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania on March 4 and Cleveland Heights’ The Grog Shop on March 5. And for more information, Tape-Toons have both a Myspace and Facebook, which feature music videos, contact information and show dates. Gravel Love is available at live shows as well as on their website.

Written by Alisa Manna - Buzzbin Magazine

"Local 'alternative noise rock' band aims to reinvent modern rock"

Getting to know Tape-Toons, local alternative band
Written by Kaylee Remington
Monday, 07 February 2011 23:15
Dylan Gomez, Andrew Bittaker and Allen Bittaker, all members of the Kent rock group Tape-Toons sit in a bay window Sunday. The group plays music throughout northeast Ohio and is scheduled to be on Black Squirrel Radio Feb. 10.. Photo by Nikolas Kolenich.

Andrew Bittaker knew when he cut his ear in half on his drummer’s cymbals that his band was not like any other. Rolling around the stage and dressing in different costumes, including dresses and wigs, the band Tape-Toons is trying to reinvent modern rock.

Bittaker, 23, recently graduated from Kent State with a degree in music. He met drummer Dylan Gomez, and the two formed Tape-Toons, a catchy, alternative noise-rock band, with Bittaker’s bass-playing brother, Allen.

“I’ve been writing songs a long time,” Bittaker said. “I was too scared to do it by myself.”

The three started playing together in summer 2009 and went from there.

“It was pretty experimental,” Bittaker said.

The band’s first album, titled “Gravel Love,” came out September 2010.

The album, which comes in hand-made packages, features nine songs of the heartbreak and struggle of youth in the Midwest.

Bittaker said he doesn’t want the band to be like any other modern rock group out there. The rock scene now, he said, is dry and boring, and the band is trying to bring it back.

“We kind of all hate the modern rock scene,” Bittaker said. “It just all sounds the same to me.”

Judging by his morning attire — long johns, rain boots and a Super Mario shirt — he doesn’t want to look the same as everyone else.

Allen, like his brother, wouldn’t mind playing his bass pants-less if he could.

Having different attire is no problem for Tape-Toons, and they cycle this individualization to the stage. Andrew said looking like ladies is not an issue.

“We’ve worn dresses more than once,” Bittaker said.

Tape-Toons brings a punk attitude to the stage, but it’s just the guys trying to have fun.

“We try to improv as much as possible,” Bittaker said.

As much as Tape-Toons doesn’t want to be the same as the average rock band, they do have influences that guide them: The Beatles, Pixies, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and some artists in the jazz and classical genres.

To really get Tape-Toons launching, Bittaker said he and the band want to start recording another album.

The band will record with Steve Albini in August. Albini is a singer, songwriter and producer and has been a member of the bands Big Black, Rapeman and Flour.

“He recorded Nirvana, the Pixies, Explosions in the Sky,” Bittaker said.

For now, Tape-Toons is continuing to make music until they begin recording their second album. “We will just keep changing and writing new stuff,” Bittaker said.

Tape-Toons has performed in Kent venues like Professor’s Pub and Euro Gyro.

Their next show will be at the Grog Shop in Cleveland March 5 with Digiraatii, a more electronic-sounding band.

Contact Kaylee Remington at kremingt@kent.eduThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . - DAILY KENT STATER

"CD Review: Tape-Toons"

Channeling alt-rock's '90s glory days, Kent's Tape-Toons sound like a blast from the grungy past on their debut album. "Walk the Dog" and "Settle Down" incorporate elements from the Pixies' hookiest cuts, and "She Drove a Spike" pairs Nirvana-like energy with the Butthole Surfers' goofy freefall. Gravel Love hinges on frontman Andrew Bittaker's lazy vocal style, which is well-suited to the band's churning psychedelic dirges. His hoarse voice is especially effective on "Green River," the album's closer. Tape-Toons borrow and steal a lot from Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. here, but there are worse bands from the era you could pilfer from. Right, Blind Lemon? — Niesel

- Cleveland Scene

"Local band Tape-Toons features classic grunge style"

Tape-Toons, a Seville, Ohio band, hails from the Cuyahoga River area. Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Andrew Bittaker, bassist Allen Bittaker and drummer Dylan Gomez, the band draws from the grunge, delta blues and shoegaze movements. The group resists the “band” label, describing themselves as a combination of “noise, feedback, busted cymbals and three guys who are trying to make your ears bleed.”

The influence of grunge music on Tape-Toons is immediately discernable to listeners. The band’s electric guitar and drum patterns, particularly on songs such as “Mice in the Wall” and “She Drove A Spike,” invoke the sounds of classic grunge artists. Tape-Toons also uses the aggressively downtrodden and even violent lyrics characteristic of grunge rockers, particularly in their song “She Drove a Spike.” In the song, Bittaker not-so-subtly describes his sense of heartbreak. In one uninspired line, he proclaims that a girl is “driving a spike straight through [his] heart.”

Listening to Tape-Toons, I struggled to hear the influence of shoegaze artists. Shoegaze tends to sound more fluid and quiet, although equally angsty. Tape-Toons’ sound is much louder than others of this genre. However, after hearing the song “Grounded,” I noted hints of the “hypnotic” sound they described in their biography.

The band references the “ache of delta blues” in their music, a sound that is vaguely recognizable in the song “C.E.O. Blues.” The tune has a slightly jazzy introduction that pays homage to the genre, although still infused with the grungy sound characteristic of the band.

Although Tape-Toons does utilize aspects of grunge, shoegaze and blues in their music, they also employ a relatively unique sound that is difficult to compare to other musicians. If you are a fan of classic grunge music groups like Nirvana, Soundgarden or Alice in Chains, as well as a fan of shoegaze, you may enjoy the music of Tape-Toons. Yet, in both cases, you will not find these influences immediately recognizable. While the band’s vocals are slightly reminiscent of garage rock artists like Iggy and the Stooges, the music itself does not follow in this classic vein. However, Tape-Toons’ unique sound allows the band to stand on their own as musical artists.

Tape-Toons’ first album, “Gravel Love,” debuted in September. The album can be purchased digitally or at local shows. For their next show, Tape-Toons will be hitting Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio on Jan. 5.

To hear more, visit the group’s MySpace at myspace.com/tapetoons or www.sonicbids.com/tapetoons. To contact the group for bookings or any other questions, you can contact lead singer Andrew Bittaker at tapetoons@gmail.com or James Lutz at sendittomehere03@hotmail.com.

- The Wooster Voice

"Tape-Toons - Gravel Love in Kent, Ohio"

Tape-Toons - Gravel Love in Kent, Ohio

Late in the summer, I paid a visit to my friend Bobby at KSU. We talked music, video, work, etc. and then I mentioned that, at least at that time, I was considering starting a small record label. He asked me if I was looking for talent and I answered that the label would only handle small reissues. He was a little disappointed but then told me I had to hear this band he had been shooting a video for. We went into one of the computer labs and he punched up the myspace page for the Tape-Toons and proceeded to play their song, Mice In The Walls. It was bluesy in a way similar to the Black Keys but the performance was a lot rawer, and I mean that in every instance of the word. The vocals could have been recorded in a professional studio or on a hand-held recorder, the guitars are beautifully rough as though positioned somewhere between Kurt Cobain and a brain-damaged Jimi Hendrix and the percussion keeps you at attention as it gently moves a little off beat only to come back solid as hell. I was excited to say the least!

I asked to hear more, but what Bobby played me sounded like David Yow from the Jesus Lizard singing alongside unmixed, out-of-sync multitracks from a noise band. I wasn't sure what to make of that other than to say I was intrigued. Turns out something must have been wrong with the computer because that's NOTHING like what Tape-Toons sound like, but it didn't turn me off in the least. I asked him to see if he could get me a copy of their album and a week or two later he brought me a fully packaged and mastered CD. The package was actually created from newspaper with a handwritten track list and a giant stamp imprint on the front with the band's name and that of the CD, Gravel Love. I asked if this has been made specifically for me as it looked so unique, to which he explained the band wanted all of the CDs to be unique unto themselves so they had created the stamp, used different inks for each cover and created each case from newspaper themselves. I was impressed, but then I listened to the CD. It fulfilled on the promise of Mice In The Walls, coming across like a personalized performance from the band in your living room. It's by no means overly produced but rather an accurate representation of their sound, loose and beautifully ragged. Tracks like the heavy rave-up of She Drove A Spike, the slowed-down throwback rock of Rush To The Cemetery with it's insane drumming, the grungy depression of CEO Blues, they all got under my skin like so many heartfelt records have before. And then there is their beautiful cover of Pavement's Grounded. By now, I was reconsidering the whole not signing anyone to the label thing. Of course, shortly thereafter I lost my job and the dreams of a label went up in smoke, for the time being at least, but I knew I had to write about how great these guys are.

The Tape-Toons are Andrew Bittaker on guitar and vocals, Allen Bittaker on bass and Dylan Gomez on drums. Their album, Gravel Love, is available for purchase at their live shows with a digital release soon to be issued, and they also have an EP on iTunes named Blah BlaH which features two songs from Gravel Love and four more not on the album. They've got Facebook and MySpace pages they update frequently and are performing live at the Europe Gyro in Kent, Ohio alongside The Lorax Tree and Shank Bone, so you should get yourself there and let these guys blow you away!

And now, for your listening pleasure, with the blessing of Tape-Toons I've got two tracks from Gravel Love for you to check out. I've already posted Mice In The Walls but Rush To The Cemetery is new to these parts so grab 'em and enjoy! When their album becomes available online I'll be sure to post a link for you to check it out. Now go see them Thursday!

- The Unheard Music

"kind, Tape-Toons, Will Sessions and other awesome stuff!"

I'm going to be posting a full review for a band that's local to me named Tape-Toons in the near future. They're from the Kent, Ohio area and just pressed up CDs of their debut album, Gravel Love, and it's really, REALLY good! Because I'm going to be doing a full review of their CD and talking with them for a post I'm not gonna say much here, but you can check out their song, Mice In The Walls, via the link below. They'll have a video for it online soon which is being done by my buddy, Bobby Makar, who did the logo for us here at The Unheard Music. In regards to their sound, it's bluesy but noisy and a little out there. Very cool guys and very cool music! You can check out their MySpace and Facebook pages for more details..
- The Unheard Music


Gravel Love LP

Friendlier LP



Tape-Toons is not a band. Tape-Toons is noise, feedback, busted cymbals and three guys who are trying to make your ears bleed.....
From the charred and polluted banks of the once great Cuyahoga River, comes Tape-Toons. Founded by singer/guitarist Andrew Bittaker and bassist Allen Bittaker as a side project, the band became complete when drummer Dylan Gomez joined....
Tape-Toons is American rock music at its most primal. In the short time that they’ve been playing together, Gomez and the Brothers Bittaker have created a sound that juxtaposes the ache of the Delta Blues with the earnest angst of grunge and the hypnotizing atmosphere of shoegaze. They are a band that is not afraid to be abrasive. They are not afraid of being embarrassingly honest. And they are not afraid to break strings, get banged up or completely loose control of themselves while playing the music they want to play.
Tape-Toons recorded their first full-length album in the Summer of 2010. Gravel Love is a nine-track collection of the heartbreak and struggle of youth in the Midwest. The album was released in September 2010 and features completely hand-made packaging It can be purchased at live shows or as a digital download.For booking or anything else, contact: Andrew Bittaker Tapetoons@gmail.com or/and James Lutz sendittomehere03@gmail.com