This cassette begins with a voice mail that I assume is from John’s mother because a) She says a lot of things I feel only a mother would say and b) She calls him John. It’s about him turning nineteen, so I don’t know how recent it is, but hey, I will never grow tired of people putting sort of personal voice mails in their music to make a point.
Sometimes, it’s the easiest way to do it because imagine if you were able to record everything anyone ever said to you and then use that audio how you see fit. Voice mails (and answering machines before that) allow that exact thing to happen, so yes, no one who leaves me a voice mail ever should feel safe from that happening to them as well.
The message gives way to screaming and some heavy rock sounds, which is quite a contrast to the acoustic guitar notes accompanying the spoken word prior. It would be easy enough to write this off as emo, but when has anything with music ever been easy? It’d be like writing The Beatles off as a rock band.
Hints of the full band version of Dashboard Confessional and Say Anything come out during the first side. The songs have meaning as well, as lines such as “I’m forgetting what it’s like to have a good time” ring true to these ears. I don’t know whether this has been established as a genre or not yet, but if it isn’t there should totally be something called post-emo (Though most bands once called “emo” probably don’t want those three letters anywhere near them)
A certain whiny quality came with being emo, like a lot of “You broke my heart, boohoo”, but the music and lyrics on “On Moving On” has more of an old and bitter vibe, which not only goes with my being older but also the first line of lyrics on “In Utero” by Nirvana.
Side B brings out some female backing vocals, and I hear a bit more of something like Straylight Run in these songs, but overall this is just solid music with lyrics that I can relate to because it feels like anyone who has been around for as many years as I have has felt this way at least once before. Experiencing this on cassette provides you a means of making this feel even more personal.