NATO COLES AND THE BLUE DIAMOND BAND / STATE DRUGS: Split: CS

Believe you me, there’s only one thing I like better than another STUPID FUCKIN’ CASSETTE, and that’s a STUPID FUCKIN’ SPLIT CASSETTE! That said, let’s move on. State Drugs are much less low-rent sounding than I had (for whatever reason) assumed; they sound a bit like something that would have been heard on college radio circa 1985, right after the student DJ played “Bastards of Young.” They are, however, punker than Tim-era Replacements to the same degree that REM are less punk than Tim-era Replacements; punk-ish, but solid and three-dimensional enough to not be sequestered to the Sunday night punk show (for better or worse). And, while I don’t quite buy all the way into Nate’s current “High Priest of Jack and Diane” persona, I buy into it more than enough to get by, and have to admit he’s a lot better at it than I would’ve imagined. Like, I don’t exactly see him as Springsteen incarnate, but, then again, a Hammond organ patches a lot of ratty flannel. “Dangerous” is a soulful mover sure to fill the imaginary dance floor at the end of your soul; “Midnight in Memphis” might want to be the next “If Only You Were Lonely” but it’s in 6/8 time and kinda fuck that. Despite the fact that this is a five-song cassette, it barely wound up offending me. BEST SONG: Nato Coles And The Blue Diamond Band, “Dangerous.” BEST SONG TITLE: Either “Me & You vs. Everything & the World” or “666 Blah Blah Blah,” both by State Drugs. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is the coolest colored cassette housing I’ve ever seen, but don’t get any bright ideas about the format. –Rev. Nørb (Motorcycle Potluck)