Friday, May 30, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Slade and the Big Nothing “6 Years and Something?... No but we have this lousy Tape” (Captain Crook Records)

            This cassette was released on CD-R as well, only the 6 years were cut back to 3, as this is a sort of greatest hits collection for Slade and the Big Nothing.   What begins with a voice mail takes us on an interesting journey, which flows fairly well for a collection of songs that may or may not be trying to present themselves as a fluid album.

            There are two sides to this cassette, in terms of what it offers up, and the first is musically.   It is somewhere between punk and Ted Leo, as the primary sounds come from vocals and an electric guitar.  The tones are generally darker in some aspects as well, and it brings out Daniel Johnston at times.   What I most think of this as being though is a cross between Violent Femmes and B-52s and that’s a pretty good place to be.

            One of the solid differences between Slade and those bands though is that he never hesitates in dropping the f-bomb, which brings us to our second aspect we need to discuss: the lyrics.  On one song, near the end, he actually borrows a line from Kimya Dawson, but right afterwards does admit that he stole it, so we’ll let it slide.   Other song topics range from 9/11 being a conspiracy (sigh) to “Almost 13” being about not wanting to grow up and referencing Pokemon quite a bit.

            On a side note:  despite what the lyric might imply, there never comes a time when you have to say goodbye to action figures!

            Other topics include people thinking he is gay and just girl troubles in general, but yeah, it’s somewhat as you would expect it to be based upon, you know, anyone who has ever listened to any song lyrics ever, though Slade might just be a little bit more blunt than others in his delivery. 

            So overall, this is solid both musically and lyrically and that’s all you could really ask for in a cassette.  The fact that it does have a d.i.y. home recorded feel to it makes the appearance of the cassette that much better.  

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