I gotta commend Tape Five for being consistent. Most of the other (good) electro swing artists have since moved on to other styles, but Tape Five has always been a swing-first group. That doesn’t mean everything they’ve produced has been a hit. In fact, the last album of theirs I liked was 2012’s Swing Patrol. But The Roaring 2020s proves that they’re still a band worth keeping an eye on. What’s helped is a tad more emphasis on the electro side of things. The beats feel slightly heavier and vocals slightly more digitized than I would normally expect from these folks. The mostly instrumental song, “Duesenberg,” for instance, could very well pass as a single straight from Swingrowers or Klischee.
Tape Five doesn’t go full instrumental very often, though. They certainly like those speakeasy vocals, which, I’ll admit, can be a little grating after a while. This isn’t an album I can listen to on repeat; there are some songs I just automatically start skipping. The weakest one is “Happy,” a cover that’s not even as good as the original everyone’s tired of hearing, anyway. There are other covers on the album, as well, though I don’t mind this rendition of “I Shot the Sheriff” as much. For all I know, most of The Roaring 2020s are covers. But even if they are, Tape Five infuses them with enough energetic, toe-tapping fun to feel unique. Overall, this may be their best work yet, and I look forward to future releases.