Thursday, February 12, 2015
Cassette Review: F.EMASCULATA "IAXFE" (Awol Records)
[£3 // Edition of 10 // https://awolrecords.bandcamp.com/album/f-emasculata-iaxfe-2]
I'd like to start this review off by saying that this is a blend of hardcore and punk that I sometimes can forget exists on cassette but it's not true because I really just seem to forget that this type of music can exist in general. The songs are short, little punches to your rib cages with multiple vocalists screaming out their feelings. On paper it can remind me of early AFI songs yet when I listen to it the nostalgia brings up so much more.
Back when I was really into hardcore (and music that was hardcore by association, you know like when you'd go see a band that wasn't hardcore per se but they'd play with hardcore bands) I could imagine myself as seeing F. Emasculata at a show somewhere, not knowing they were playing and even who they were before going. I actually went to this show once in Massachusetts and it was supposed to be headlined by Alison Ranger, one of my all-time favorite bands.
The show was at a dorm room and as such the first two bands played and then it got shut down, so we ended up driving to someone else's house who lived off campus to finally see Alison Ranger play their set. This wonderful band played second though called Morgan Storm and before that was a band who had a singer that just liked to get in people's faces and scream and I don't recall their name. This is the type of environment this cassette makes me think of now.
At the same time, there is also this element of punk rock to "IAXFE", as demonstrated in a song such as "Who Do You Believe", and that brings me back to a time when I was writing previous to my Alison Ranger years and was into some punk like GBH and Good Clean Fun and just a variety of bands from Go Kart Records. (Shout out to Toxic Holocaust) I remember at that time, before music really went digital, people just randomly sending me a lot of punk rock CDs and my just being blown away by how many of these great bands were out there doing this.
I also would get a number of CDs from Go Kart Records, as I was on their press mailing list back then, and every time I would hear a new band I would just become totally engrossed with them. Forget about the compilations too, because those things would have me holed up for days, dissecting every individual song like a sermon.
Despite the fact that F. Emasculata brings back all of these old feelings I do believe that the past should stay in the past. I'm not the same person that I was when I was seventeen and I don't think that anyobdy my age is. So in many ways this comes down to whether or not this music can withstand the test of time for me, and putting this on, pressing play for the first time, I had no doubts in my mind that I still wanted to hear this and whether you're a new fan to it or old like me you'll want to hear this too.