DeWolff – Tascam Tapes (Mascot Records)

The label chiefs at Mascot Records must love DeWolff.

It cost fewer than €50 to write, perform and record Tascam Tapes.

Less than the cost of a hoodie sporting your favourite band’s logo.

Half the price of the cheapest available tickets for Aerosmith’s London show this summer.

And around the same price you’d pay for a couple of rounds in central London.

As bean counters around the world sit up and take notice, the value of record deals are plummeting as we speak.

To the untrained ear (and there’s a few pairs of them at Rushonrock) this sounds about as budget as a private jet with Champagne on tap.

The mix of immediacy, authenticity, bravado and groove is musical gold dust.

And that’s why bands holed up in studios in every corner of the globe should be looking nervously over their shoulders.

If you can achieve something like this on the cheap then who needs a blank chequebook?

Imagine the polar opposite of Def Leppard’s Hysteria – an album that cost millions and took half a decade to finish.

It’s raw, real and rather like a trip to the local club on open mic night. Which we love.

DeWolff took their inspiration for Tascam Tapes from 10,000 miles on the road: and it’s some trip.

Recorded in fits and bursts in the back of a van, dimly lit dressing rooms and quiet corners backstage, it’s a modern miracle.

No drum kit, no Hammond and no guitar amps? No problem. 

Tascam Tapes still sounds bigger, harder and cleverer than most ‘rock’ records you’ll hear in 2020.

To describe this as DeWolff’s seventh studio album misses the point. There was no studio.

But there is affecting songwriting, a sense of creative freedom and genuine hope for the future.

The evocative Am I Losing My Mind sounds remarkable and sums it up best: no doubt DeWolff’s decision to get back to basics was met with a few quizzical stares early doors.

Now the deed is done everyone will be doing the same.

Not least because label bosses will be rapidly reassessing their budget for ‘recording’ artists against the backdrop of this DIY triumph.

Good luck to the next band demanding a six-week stay in a state-of-the-art studio with a wall of vintage guitars and mixing desk bigger than your average semi…