Thursday, July 16, 2015
Cassette Review: The Voluptuals "The Voluptuals"
[$5 // Edition of 100 // https://thevoluptuals.bandcamp.com/album/the-voluptuals]
The Voluptuals are one of those rare bands that I cannot compare with many other bands and I feel like a lot of that is because I no longer wish to sift through a genre that is embraced mostly by Burger Records in order to find the few artists who can still pull this type of sound off well. Without a doubt, The Voluptuals have that sound that you want to hear when someone uses words like "surf" and "garage psych" to describe them and you expect them to be a certain level of good so this cassette does go above and beyond whatever expectations you might have for it.
One of the first bands I always like to compare this type of garage psych with is of course High Pop. I know there are bands who came before High Pop, so I should be using them as points of reference, but dammit I just like High Pop. With whoa-oh-oh chorus chaos these songs can also have that rock n roll feel with a little bit of Local H mixed in with the chorus. There is a certain smoothness that comes along with the soul in the singing and this just also finds itself along the lines of Buddy Holly, a little twee and even a little bit of Green Day.
Through the second side you can also hear some more upbeat, faster paced rock n roll with some dreamy Porno For Pyros guitar lines and it just overall seems to generate thoughts of The Beatles and Pink Floyd. This self-titled cassette has a total of five songs and with three on Side A it is worth noting that the final two on Side B can almost run together in some ways- through the power of cassette over digital- and seem like one long trippy song. I do so enjoy the fact that The Voluptuals stay within the genre of psych- because really this whole cassette is psychedelic at times- but sometimes test its limits.
The biggest difference for me when thinking about other bands that could be in the same genre as The Voluptuals is that a lot of the other bands would just have done these five songs in a similar manner, where the five songs would sound almost exactly like the same song played five times over. This isn't *always* a bad thing though because there are artists who will take on this garage psych rock n roll with a little surf mixed in and just nail it song after song. Side B really just solidifies this as a spectacular cassette for me because even if they did have two more songs that stayed more closely related to the first three it'd be great but taking that trippy plunge makes this that much better.