SUPER FAMICOM: Purpose Defeated: Cassette

This cassette arrived a jumble of signifiers: before I popped it into Rhonda the Honda’s tape deck, I had no idea whether to expect black metal (based on the baroque, heavy-looking spine lettering) or some Gravity-inspired screamo (stark contrast screen print ahoy!). The answer, of course, was neither. Super Famicom is one guy playing everything on this, his twenty-sixth release (!). There’s a smattering of styles here, from effects-drenched Sebadoh-y balladry to the metal chug and dueling Maiden guitars of “Thanks A Lot” to straight-up pop, as in “I Used to Be Thin” and “Aurora Blue.” The pop stuff must have cost a zillion dollars, because to employ a team of scientists to exactly replicate Greg Norton’s Zen Arcade bass tone has gotta cost some ducats, dig? The title track here mixes tempos well, playing to the rec’s pop strength rather than the pining/moping of some of the slower numbers, which become a bit of a slog to listen to. In all, ambitious and singular. 

 –Michael T. Fournier (PJ)