Apart from sheer nostalgia for people of a certain age ((and perhaps consideration for those of us who still drive motor vehicles manufactured after 1980 but prior to 2003)), there really are no abiding reasons why anyone should ever release anything on cassette again, ever. Cassettes were a fucking DUMB format. Their fidelity decreased every time you played them, they got dusty and warbly and fucked up, they got twisted and kinked and snapped, tape transport from song to song was a time-consuming and aggravating pain in the ass, and every now and again your cassette deck would just randomly eat a tape, sort of like Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree, but less epic. About the best thing i could say for pre-recorded cassettes ((as opposed to mix tapes, which still remain the gold standard for such things)) is that if you didn’t like what was on there, you could tape over it. That said, some of these vaguely Heartbreakery/Lurkery mid-tempo basement punk tunes are fairly catchy and well-written, but most of ‘em are ruined by rampant tempo fluctuations every time the drummer attempts some kind of too-fancy fill or other dramatic barrage. I’d be interested to hear what they sound like in a year or something, especially if some sort of virus strikes down dead all digital music and causes the planet’s vinyl to spontaneously turn into an unplayable meringue-like substance, leaving magnetic tape as my sole entertainment option. BEST SONG: “She’s Like a Hangover” BEST SONG TITLE: I guess that is also “She’s Like a Hangover” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Of the three cassettes i got to review this month, this is the only such cassette that was decent enough to arrive with the knock-out tabs intact, meaning that i can tape right over it without having to undertake the additional step of putting a piece of tape over the little holes. Thanks, pals!
–norb (Richmond SS)