Thursday, June 4, 2015
Cassette Review: Girl Cancer "Bingo Shrimp Tape"
[$5 // Edition of 1 // https://girlcancer.bandcamp.com/album/bingo-shrimp-tape]
I'm not entirely certain how the idea that this cassette is in an edition of 1 works because I have one and it's not sold out, but I can only assume that means this one was made special for me and yours might be the exact same in terms of artwork or maybe different. The very fact that this exists just for me though is how I know that I've truly made it. (Though if these cassettes were just going to be dubbed on 60 minute blanks and handwritten like this, you could seemingly make them on demand and not limit yourself by edition numbers)
This cassette- though called the "Bingo Shrimp Tape"- is actually two Girl Cancer albums in one. On Side A is "2014 A.D." and on Side B is "Bingo Shrimp", both of which make up the entire Girl Cancer discography thus far. Throwing an extra album on the flip side is something Captain Crook Records would do (and have done) so I'm definitely down with this idea also. I can't tell you how many times I get a cassette from a band and enjoy it so much but just cannot find the time or motivation to go listen to their older, digital release(s).
Some of this is what you might expect but a lot of it is not. It begins with that acoustic guitar and vocals feel, that has a bedroom sense to it, and I kind of thought that was what this might be on the whole-- that home recording, Daniel Johnston type of idea. And then the distorted guitars come in and the pace picks up and we are taken back to a time when rock n roll didn't want to be grunge or about hippies. It's songs like "Sex Vex" that have me trying to find out where this falls exactly- Wheatus? Some undiscovered Weezer?
With bits of that trance Beatles feel, there are also elements of an acoustic version of Local H on some of these songs as well. Horns come in and remind me of They Might Be Giants. I can also hear Ben Folds, Piebald and a surf-like version of Green Day ("Sometimes I still feel I'm walking alone" era, mainly between "Insomniac" and "Nimrod" though) These guitar riffs just have Girl Cancer really belting it out. A little bit of acoustic Nirvana can come through as well, but that's about worth mentioning as much as that they do a most excellent live cover of a Guided By Voices song and thus comparing them with that.
Girl Cancer is an interesting name. Is it the band who is a cancer to girls, in the sense that they don't have much luck with the ladies? Is it a reference to breast cancer and other such types of cancers that are thought of as being only for women? Okay, I'll give you ovarian, but men can have breast cancer just as easily as women it's just not as common I suppose. I feel like whatever the name was meant to imply, people are going to take it the wrong way and get offended by it. We here at Raised by Gypsies are all too familiar with people taking things the wrong way and getting offended by them. We live in an overly sensitive society, what can I say? [Editor's Note: That offends me!]
The thing is, I've been told before that people wouldn't send me cassettes because of the name Raised by Gypsies. I wish I could tell them to ignore the name and that it isn't as important as the review itself, but since I can't I can just say that if you feel like you might become offended by this name then I kindly suggest you simply listen to the music before passing judgment. I think you'll find this rocks so hard it doesn't matter what it's called as long as you can play it and play it loud.