» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Lovitt Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Peel back the hard exterior or break down the walls of the cooler-than-thou scene ethics of every metal-head, hardcore kid, or punk rocker alike and I would be willing to bet you would find the heart of a pop-music loving lily somewhere down deep in that black-clad chest cavity. Such a search may have provided the circumstances under which the formation of The Cassettes was undertaken. The group features four musicians whose harder edged day jobs - Shelby Cinca formerly with Frodus and Steve Kille and Stephen McCarty of Dead Meadow along with Jennifer Potter - have lead to an off-shoot night job which has given way to a serious outpouring of fun-lovin', hook inflected pop-rock.

The Cassettes utilize power-chord blazing guitars caked in a 70's style fuzz backed by briskly banged block piano chords in an attempt to get your ass out of your chair. The insistent drums keep the beat and the fills spill and tumble over themselves while the bass lines bop and the vocal harmonies mesh in a blend that adds up to nothing short of a raucous good time.

A pattern begins to develop with "Alright With The Days", the first track to bring the pace down. Its electric piano and outro guitar solo - remember music with guitar solos that didn't suck? - provide a nice moment of repose, but the following track "The Sound" comes right back to the rock which we'll equate to the jell-o pudding of The Cassettes's Bill Cosby sound. The rest of the album tends to follow this trend of alternating the high energy rock tunes with the more mellowed out slow burners, as "Ghost In A Lost World" is a barebones acoustic guitar and vocals track, while the following "Afternoon" gets back to what the band does best.

I could go on a track-by-track dissection of this record, but really not much more needs to be said as you probably already get the idea, and words are hardly ever a truly adequate substitute for hearing the music. It always strikes me as funny how - when so much bad music is made on a daily basis - certain bands, without a doubt most of the ones that I truly love, seem to manage to make the whole process look simple, so to put it quite simply, this is a one of the finer pop/rock records that will be released this year, and you owe it to yourself to find your sentimental pop heart, no matter how black it may have become or how deep you may have buried it down in your soul, and at least give The Cassettes new disc a spin.

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper



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