The “Cassette_2014” by La Rata Terrible has no clear indication as to what would be Side A or Side B, but I always assume that it is rewound to Side A and thus review it as such when that is my only other option. That being said, there is a strong case for flipping these sides, but then again, they might work fine just the way that they are.
Side A begins with talking and some static. It reminds me a lot of a conversation being randomly recorded in public, only perhaps the parties involved do not know and hence they have a hidden recording device which sometimes produces such crinkles. This does, however, turn into singing with an acoustic guitar and then the piano kicks in, bring some signs of life. As the dual vocals kick in all I can think about how weird this transmission sounds for some reason, as if it is being played via some archaic form of media, yet at the same time it reminds me a bit of Gogol Bordello on some level and I love that about it.
When I hear Side B, I begin to think that this is perhaps how this cassette should have started, but I’ll argue those points amongst myself later on. A laser synth kicks things off and that gives the vibe to the Doctor Who theme song. As this electro-rock goes on there is the strumming of an acoustic guitar placed behind it. Eventually, this all leads us to a drum machine and electric combination, which really comes out quite rocking, and at times it borders on something that could end in –gaze, such as shoegaze or dreamgaze or what have you. It doesn’t really compare with any other bands because it’s quite different from the usual suspects, but I also don’t feel worthy enough to create my own subgenre name for it.
So what you have to wonder here is whether it is better to sort lure people in with the Doctor Who lasers and just all around rocking side first, then trade to the more experimental and slower acoustic side to end things out, or is it better to simply leave it the way it is as it makes it feel somewhat like it gets better as it goes on, at least from a traditional appeal standpoint.
My best advice to you is to first off buy this cassette because it is rather good and you’ll need it for purposes of my next few steps. Listen to each side in opposite orders. Then decide for yourself what you think should be first and what should be second. The mere fact that this cassette can be such a topic of debate in this matter though- even just in my own head- is a testament to how truly remarkable it is.