Tapes reviews of tapes I buy or get sent.

Send cassettes for review to: Flat 16 Raddon Tower, Dalston Square, London E8 3GN.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Former Bullies - Seasoned (COATR)

I have had this tape in my review pile for over a year and a half now, and every time i put it on the tape player, i seem to forget about writing a pointless review for the 5 people that may read this blog and just listen to this tape from end to end. I'm annoyed as they are now on LP numero #3 and this is way out of date, but hey, its a rad tape and i wanna say it out loud.

For me this is what England can do better than any other country, shakey messthestics indie/punk which fits the British psyche to a tee. The recording is not great, but would i enjoy a polished recording? I don't think so. Anyways, these 10 tracks bring up The Kinks on acid, The Rolling Stones if played by Nikki Sudden. I need to buy their new LP on C/F records and keeps this near my tape deck.

Daniel Higgs - Ultraterrestrial Harvest Hymns (Moon Glyph) & The Measure of Mystery (Gnome Life)

It is no secret that i have a major love for all things Higgs, from Reptile House and Lungfish through to all the amazing solo records he has been dropping at an incredible rate recently. These two tapes are some of the best  releases and get a lot of plays.

The first tape 'Ultraterrestrial Harvest Hymns' is large collection of recordings, some banjo improvisations, some vocals and a whole host of stuff in between, all committed straight to tape live and in their rawest and truest takes. I would estimate this is at least 90 mins of pure Higgs, recorded in 2010. Essential purchase for any fan.

The second and most recent tape is on Gnome life and has 3 tracks, with the shortest still coming in at over 10 mins. They come in a superbly packaged fold over, embossed cover with inserts and pictures. This is a great package showing that sometimes the tape genre has been co-opted to be a cheap medium when in reality it can be used to showcase some awesome artwork and aesthetics due to the low cost of the physical product itself. The tracks were all recorded to tape also in Big Sur, in 2011 in a circular room perched over a waterfall, flowing steadily towards the pacific ocean. Always trust in Daniel A.I.U Higgs, he has never let us down yet.

Workin' Man Noise Unit - Drinkin' Stella To Make Music To Drink Stella To

This tape came through the post last week, which on first glance had that piss-take look to it, with a naked dude on the cover, hand scribbled beer jokes in the insert and a Stella based play on the classic Spacemen 3 album name. I didn't expect a groovy version of the Melvin's when i threw the tape on though? I think i was expecting some stupid fast punk band based on thecover, instead we get some classic mid 90's pigfuck noise punk ala Melvin's, Tad, Hammerhead and whoever else graced the Amphetemine Reptile label. I think the best update on this sound has to be Pissed Jeans last 3 faultless records, and whilst these 6 songs pack less of a punch, they will no doubt be be a new band to check out for peeps who miss those noise-y AmRep days.

Sharm El Sheikhs - Demo (Sexbeat)

Being waiting for this tape to drop since i heard the first songs posted up online. Featuring Henry and Michael from Lovvers on Guitar and Bass, Dom from French Kissing on drums and handsome George on vox from Prize Pets, you can imagine this was gonna be some gnarly power punk with covered in jittery in the red style riffs. Henry always pulls out some killer guitar lines that weave themselves into your brain for ages, super catchy shit!
I caught their first show with Jacuzzi Boys last month and look forward to some more tapes and vinyl from these boys sooner rather than later.

Virginia Wing (Sexbeat)

Two song debut tape for Virginia Wing, which is Sam from Let's Wrestle with help from Wes (Lets Wrestle) and Merida (La La Vasquez). Virginia Wing take their name from Grace Slick's mother, and early Jefferson Airplane is a good starting point. Total ethereal 60's psych but with tougher male vocals, killer stuff! Wish there was more than 2 songs on this tape. Nice n gold tape though!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Living Eyes - S/T (Saturno Records)

I haven't quite worked out yet if this is an actual tape release or just a hand taped copy of the 7" that Australia's Living Eyes just put out on Saturno Records of Spain? It would make sense as the tape is a normal blank C60 variety with the tracks taped onto one side and the cover being a cheap photocopy job.

Either way, despite this being a real release or not, it was sent very nicely across a large ocean and the music is pretty good. It follows the Nuggets / Pebbles style of 60's Garage music but with less punk and a more R'n'B edge. The lack of punk aggression really surprised me as a quick Google search showed The Living Eyes looking like they share an average age of 18! I'm into it though, all the licks are in the right place, just wish it was a little angrier or more dangerous in places? Seriously though, do the blind test on me and i couldn't have told you they weren't on some collection of obscure 60's garage bands. Excited to hear what happens next.


  1. Livin'
  2. Thinking of You
  3. That Song We Sing
  4. A Mind In My Own
  5. Crash
  6. Livin' (demo)
  7. Instrumental No.2 (demo)

V/A - Nothing Short of Total War -Part One (Blast First)

Man, this tape had such a formative influence on me. Contained on this little plastic box with the Savage Pencil artwork and bright Blast First explosion logo was a who's who of late 80's American Indie Rock. Releases in 1989, this tape had staples of my musical diet such as Sonic Youth, Big Black, Rapeman, Dinosaur Jnr, Butthole Sufers, Arsenal and Ciccone Youth. It also introduced me to the klang and clamor of bands such as UT, Head of David, Big Stick and AC Temple. 

I have seen this tape and LP in many a fine second hand record shop for pretty cheap prices. You will know by the list of names above if this is needed in your collection or not. Total War = Total Classic.

Cassettes from the 80's

Thank you Wandsworth Salvation Army

Cassettes from the 90's

Tapelove is Back from the Grave!

To anyone that reads this blog, and especially all the people who sent in tapes, big apologies on the 3 month silence. My beloved tape deck stopped working, so i have just got a replacement Walkman until the deck is back up and running. This means i have a back up of around 25 tapes to get up on here which i will do as quickly as possible!

I will also be putting up pictures of old classic tapes from my collection or that i stumble across on my travels, including these two classics from the 'S' section.