Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cassette Review: CyberPeanut "Unsalted Volume 1" (Captain Crook Records)

This is my third CyberPeanut cassette and as such it only makes sense that by now you should have read the first two reviews and have some kind of understanding of what these songs are going to sound like.     CyberPeanut combines electric and acoustic guitars with very little else and then vocals to create their songs that fall somewhere between something you might want to tag as "bedroom" and then the more obvious choice of punk rock.    I like to think on this cassette they channel some new influences though and, well, always evolving and expanding is the way music should be.

On Side A, the songs bring out something between the Flaming Lips and Benjamins for me, but they also have a more relaxed take on their music.   It is not something as easily explained as it is heard, but there are times when they will talk to each other during songs and it just sort of feels like maybe these are rough takes but not because of the recording quality.   Side B actually has a bit more of a serious side to it, as the first few songs make me think of the demos from the Nirvana "With the Lights Out" boxed set.    That is, of course, until they declare they are going to play a pretty song and thrash into anything but that.    There is also a short song on Side B with a ska vibe to it that reminds me of Assorted Jellybeans, just to throw that out there and possibly confuse anyone reading this.

The lyrical content- what these songs are about- depends upon the song really.   I've found most of them to be love songs, even if they are directed at Slade, but then there are some other subjects that I find to be funny and... strange.   While I agree with the notion that Mark Zuckerberg is a robot and all around just seems like a bad dude, I'm not sure how I feel about all blondes being evil.   Perhaps a song targeting redheads would have been more fitting, but this is kind of like the ultimate blonde joke taken way too far.  (In all fairness, I don't know many blondes though, so there's also that)  

A song about how white people suck brings out memories of NOFX and no one is really safe on this cassette as, yes, even J-Lo herself comes under fire.   I'd say something grand about how this cassette is proof that if CyberPeanut really cracked down (Heh, cracked down... and they're a peanut... Get it?) they could have a serious run as musicians and all of that.   I could ramble on about putting the jokes aside and growing up, but why?  Why does any of that matter?   Music shouldn't be taken so seriously and neither should life.   People can sing about mental illness and I can relate to it just as easily as a song about Mark Zuckerberg being a tool.  

So, for me, CyberPeanut isn't about being Peter Pan or anything like that, but just people taking life too seriously and needing to consider calming it down.    It's funny that this is titled "Unsalted" because I actually eat peanuts which are unsalted.  I just found the salted ones to be too greasy and salty for me (Yes, even lightly salted), so I just do the unsalted ones now.   And you know what?  It turns out unsalted ones are healthier for you.   But I didn't make this decision to be health concious.   I did it because it was what I wanted to do-- it was my personal taste.    Which to me, as some sort of moral to the story, means that you don't always have to change for deeply serious reasons.    Sometimes life just has a way of working itself out.  

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