After a successful streak with their self titled EP and their breakout album Routines, Hoops has seen it fit to reissue their first 3 tapes. Tape #1 is perhaps the least fully formed and most bare bones of the set, with the tape hiss overcoming the instrumentation. Despite the excess noise, “On My Corner” stands out with its grooving bassline and synths reminiscent of Prefab Sprout. The collection also features multiple early versions of tracks that show up on the band’s full length debut but still manage to be just as good. In particular, “On Top” shines due to its prominent vocal harmonies and whistling that aren’t present on the Routines rendition. Besides these, “4 U Pt. 2” sparkles with a dreamy synth melody and “I’m Hurting” catches the ear with a Smiths-like guitar riff. “Feelin Fine” closes out the compilation with a similar tone to Real Estate’s “All the Same,” yet stands out as wholly different due to its rollicking and intricate drums. All in all, Tapes #1-#3 provides a wonderful retrospective that will tide fans of the band over until their next release.

-Eli Wheeler