Friday, September 4, 2015
Cassette Review: Lower Tar "Of Spirit, Of Madness"
[$6 // Edition of 50 // https://lowertar.bandcamp.com/album/of-spirit-of-madness]
Just when you think you've heard it all, Lower Tar goes out and makes this cassette. When I first heard these static, distorted "Knight Rider" synth tones I thought it was going to be instrumental and I knew it was going to be rocking. But then vocals came in- actually singing too through the electronics- and this is just something I've not quite heard before but though was a nice touch to an already rocking piece of solid music. It's trippy and stretched out at times with space lasers and some hints of Doctor Who as I'm reminded of anything from Illegal Wiretaps to New Order. It doesn't sound exactly like either of those two artists but I feel at least is along similar lines.
There is a nice rhythm to this overall and it has some Stabbing Westward and Filter to it
musically. I can also bring up the names of other artists such as Dana Fowler And The, Deathdealer and the once a band but maybe not anymore artist known as Vagina Missile Crisis. Following lightsabers there are spoken words within the static filled electronics. Sonic blasts bring about beats and rhythms within the electronics. Industrial is a way which this could be described and by the end I can sense a lot of anger in the space war.
Perhaps one of the best things about this cassette by Lower Tar is that without the vocals it could stand on its own, a peer to a good deal of other cassettes I review and just really enjoy listening to on a regular basis. I know I've described and continue to listen to a number of artists who create similar sounds but do so only instrumentally. Lower Tar adding in the vocals is something I'd never really thought of before with this type of music because as much as I say, "Oh, it sounds like this band" and that band might have a vocalist it just doesn't sound exactly the same with or without the vocals. Typically I would see something as instrumental and then decide that the addition of vocals would either make it better or worse.
But listening to this- time after time- it still amazes me that it has vocals. Thinking of it as "an instrumental band with vocals" or just a regular band with vocals and all of that just doesn't cut it for me. I mean, you either have vocals or you don't, right? And while Lower Tar has vocals- this is true- it doesn't have the same sound as some other artist who is out there playing music and singing along. It's just such a unique electronic rock experience that you must witness it for yourself. If you're not completely satisfied then listen to it again.