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 I'm annoyed as they are now on LP numero #3 and this is way out of date, but hey, its a rad tape and i wanna say it out loud.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!