Friday, March 4, 2016
Bootleg Cassette Review: Molly Shannon, Molly Shannon "Night Language"
[$10 to Download // https://mollyshannonmollyshannon.bandcamp.com/album/night-language]
As far as I can tell this doesn't have an actual physical release so I'm not as upset about doing this review as a "bootleg". If you're going to pay the ten dollars to download this one then the odds are good that you'll also somehow back this up on a flash drive or if you are like me and cannot/won't listen to digital music in your car then this could also be put onto a compact disc. My feeling is that once you have these songs, once you've paid the ten dollars for them, then as long as you're not selling them and making money off of them then go for it. If you want to get creative enough to put this on a cassette then more power to you I'd say.
Being that this is my second bootleg cassette I didn't want it to look exactly like the other one in terms of the layout of the j-card so I put the artist name on the front and then tried to put the title down the spine and I even put the song titles on the second shortest piece of the j-card. I think it's a nice layout and, you know, I'm not doing anything really fancy because a) I want people to remember that these are bootlegs and not be confused and asking the artist why they aren't selling the cassettes anymore and b) I'm not doing this to make money so I'd probably only put more time and effort into the artwork on the j-card (and I wouldn't leave the inside of it blank) if I was going to produce this in a series and try to sell it.
The music of Molly Shannon, Molly Shannon (or as I will now abbreviate them "MSMS") is dark. It's somewhat haunting, it can be distorted and it's also full of a decent amount of clank. I can't really put my finger on it because it isn't straight up someone singing with accompanying instruments because at times non-traditional sounds can be heard. There are drum machines, sure, but there are other outside noises which just make this stand out from a lot of other artists I've heard that could be part of this lo-fi rock genre that seems to be ever-expanding.
Given that this is lo-fi and seems home-recorded in a way is one of the main reasons why I felt it was perfect to be on cassette. I realize that cassette labels are often busy and have their own schedules planned but the fact that Rok Lok Records or Juniper Tree Songs didn't put this out on cassette is kind of a bummer. It just feels like something they'd be interested in, if not a couple of other labels I won't spend time mentioning because it's all just speculation. Right now if you want this on cassette you're going to have to make it yourself and the transfer for me is just worth it. There is this sort of background noise anyway when you listen to this digitally or on CD, so it just works even better with that cassette hiss. It seems to be bringing out its best qualities by being on cassette.
Whether the singer seems to be on the verge of tears/giving up or singing about how he's going to fuck to sleep, the music is raw and so are the lyrics. On the song "Crystal Meth House" I can hear this soul coming through in a musical way but it just seems to serve as a reminder that most of this cassette is the soul of the artist being poured out.