Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cassette Review: On New Horizons Vol III by Various Artists (ZyNg tapes)

[£6 // Edition of 200 // http://music.zyngtapes.co.uk/album/on-new-horizons-vol-iii-zyng017]

For whatever reason, I always feel like I have this misguided idea of what I had for tape decks in my teenage years- like, late teenage years when I stopped really buying cassettes but would get some here and there from bands directly.   I actually had a stereo with a CD player and dual tape deck in it, though I did also have only a tape deck in my car for some time, so I would spend a lot of time putting albums from CD onto cassette and even making my own mixtapes for listening to in the car.   I remember mixing up the songs of Weezer when they only had two albums out and some random soundtrack songs.   But the days of trading mixtapes with friends seems to be over, so I find comfort in compilations by labels who I consider to be friends.

Of the bands I've heard on ZyNg tapes before now, only The Nosuns and Savage Goth appear on this compilation but it just means that there are more artists I'm hearing for the first time.     Like friends from before 2010, I trust ZyNg tapes' taste in music and this compilation certainly delivers on songs in the genre of rock.     From the poppier side of punk like Day At The Fair and Saves the Day to guitar riff driven songs in the vein of Franz Ferdinand, this compilation can really just be described by the word rock.

I actually really enjoy how Echoline opens with this electronic Nine Inch Nails sounding song but then it goes into a rock sound which shapes the rest of the cassette to come-- it's just beautifully designed in that way, much like a most excellent mixtape.   Sounds like Coheed and Cambria and even that 1950's rock and roll can be heard before we go into Side B for a song by Bubamara that I can only describe as gypsy punk.  That lazy rock blues takes us into a synth and lasers show before we close everything out rhyming "joy" with "destroy", which oddly enough sounds a bit like Echoline but not exactly like them-- just enough that I could see You Are The Dead playing shows with them.

Overall, in addition to these songs, you'll find this great fold out with a little info about each band and I really enjoy that.   I feel like if I was still making mixtapes to the point where we are right now in 2016 (because we didn't have Bandcamp when I was still making them) I'd probably print out something similar with a band photo maybe or at least just a link for each artist on how to find more music by them.    I don't think I'd go through all the effort of making the layout that ZyNg tapes did though and in a lot of ways that alone makes this all worth it.

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