Friday, April 10, 2015

Cassette Review: Modern Hoax "Letters to Burn" (Fall Break Records)

[$5 //]

If you've followed the music of Modern Hoax as I have, you'll notice that throughout the time it has been around the sounds have undergone some variations and you might not be able to predict which end of the spectrum this release will fall on, but you can bet it will be good.   I'm reminded of Illegal Wiretaps in that way, as it is a sort evolving project but if the next Modern Hoax release was instrumental and experimental I wouldn't be too shocked because it's been that way before.

The songs on "Letters to Burn" are plenty though and they are mostly fuzzy type of psychedelic rock that goes between pop and rock n roll.   I like to use punk n roll as a genre sometimes so I might have to use pop n roll here for Modern Hoax, you know, if I tagged everything with every possible label because sometimes that helps people decide what to listen to or not.

Moments of acoustic bass and moments of heavy rock bring out Smashing Pumpkins, Beatles and "Big Bang Baby" era Stone Temple Pilots (which is one of my favorite eras of STP).    There are keys that can bring out The Doors, but then also something else, like a less dark version of "Smells Like Childern" era Marilyn Manson.   (Yes, really)

At times there are crunchy guitar chords that blast your speakers, only taking a break to come through cleanly with vocals-- a trick used by Nirvana, Campground Effect, Cloud Nothings and Local H to name a few, and yet it still doesn't really sound like any of them but boy is it fun to crank as loudly as you can.

Some Blur, some Flaming Lips and something modern that even come close to emo, Modern Hoax takes the levels of melodies to new heights as it becomes intertwined with far too many layers for the human ear to comprehend without some sort of help from science.   Seriously, we have sunglasses to keep the brightness of the sun out so can we invent something for our ears to help us bring more soundwaves in?

Through frequency lasers that might just be modems and rapid fire drum machine beats the songs on "Letters to Burn" are as diverse as they are rockin', a true masterpiece that lesser minds will refer to simply as "experimental rock" and then move onto their next fad.    I also sense a bit of that smooth rhythm from when Joss Stone covered the White Stripes song "Fell in Love with a Girl" but changed the pronouns to her sexual orientation.   It has that soothing, lullably feel to it that doesn't put you to sleep but makes you feel like you're in some smoky jazz club with a lounge singer at three in the morning.

I like to think that cassettes- on the whole- have two different categories to fit into, although there are categories such as electronic, folk and bedroom.   There are "experimental" types of cassettes, which tend to be the "noise" side of things and are most of the time instrumental.   If you look out there hard enough you'll find the artists and bands I mean.   Then there are rock cassettes which come from labels like Hope For The Tape Deck and Summersteps Records.

"Letters to Burn" is a combination of these two different types of cassettes, which I love equally and now don't have to choose which one to listen to because I can hear them both at the same time.    If you've not been listening to me since the dawn of Raised by Gypsies, consider this fair warning.   Modern Hoax is creating some of the most beautiful and intriguing music today.     Listen to it now or listen to it in ten years when there is nothing else left.

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