I might find myself typing this same introduction with every cassette I review from Almost Halloween Time Records, but I’m okay with that. The artwork for these cassettes, the j-cards/linear notes and what have you is all handmade. That fact alone makes this a work of art before you even listen to the music on it. This stock card type paper is folded up and placed inside a case with this cassette but I feel like it should be in a frame hanging on my wall instead. If you ever experience one of these cassettes for yourself, you will know exactly what I mean.
I had never heard of this artist prior to this, and the name :3 is an odd one though if you look at it at a certain angle I suppose it looks like a silly cat face (hence the Bandcamp site) and that is what I tend to just refer to this as now, “Silly Cat Face”. Whatever makes life a little bit easier, right?
This starts off with guitars and vocals and it has a definite homemade quality to it where it sounds as if this guy is just singing straight into a tape player while strumming the guitar. It reminds me of Daniel Johnston in that home recording feel, but Mr. Johnston doesn’t really come out that much otherwise. It actually resembles something more like The Wrens on the first song, and then it goes into something with a bit more screeching and bass lines.
As much as this has this lo-fi quality, most artists in that genre tend to either be sad or just apathetic, where as this seems to be angry. I could hear the anger bleeding through even before this picked up with screaming.
On the flip side, we begin with a full band type of sound and it’s more of a garage pop feel. It’s a little clanky, but has that feel of that one Get Up Kids song—you know the one—and it even becomes somewhat trippy and with New End Original whispers. Really though in the sense when you’re supposed to feel like you just don’t care or you’re a loser or sad your girlfriend left you, this just replaces those emotions with rage and I love it.