Friday, September 29, 2017

Cassette Review: Rats Mouth "Bad Grammar" (Already Dead Tapes)

This cassette from Rats Mouth has the distinction of the same four songs appearing on both sides, but Side A is labeled "loud" and Side B is labeled "Soft".   So I've decided to write a little bit about each song and how they differ on each side.   It's kind of like a SBSR but I don't want to call it that anymore.

"Snoozer" - On Side A, this starts off kind of quiet but turns loud.   It has screaming and growling.   It could easily be described as hardcore with the starts and stops of metal that make me think of an artist such as Converge.   // Side B has this song with the same lyrics, sung the same way only in a larger open room sound and an acoustic guitar does the riff which is great.   The screaming still comes out the same- with growling and all- only this time it is over acoustic guitars.    Has anyone ever made an entire album of music that has had that type of screaming/growling over an acoustic guitar?  I might listen to it if it sounded like this.

"Cool Rock Band" - We begin with this guy singing about how he wants to be in a cool rock band.   He wants to have a cool label, more press, more fans, etc and then begins singing about the little things I find funny like buying organic and rolling up your pants.    Female vocals come in and ask "Is that really what you want?"  It's a contrast from the first song but it's still a lot of fun.   For all the press photos I receive in emails it does seem like there is a certain look to being in a "cool rock band".   // Before this song on Side B he asks if we're ready then counts 1, 2, 3.   It almost sounds like Side B is being done in one take with an acoustic guitar but I'm not going to look it up because I don't like to peak behind the curtain too much.   But yes, this is the same song on Side B only acoustic and it still sounds great.

"Get So Lust" - An energetic number that has elements of surf in it.   I'd put it between The B-52's and Guttermouth.    It's also about sex.  // The soft version of this is acoustic but somehow feels louder than the version from Side A.   Violent Femmes come to mind now.

"Better Get Me Down" - This has a slower distorted sound which reminds me of Weezer.   It's a nice way to end Side A because it's somewhere between the first three songs but doesn't sound exactly like any of them.   //  This song is just as fun acoustic as it is loud and the whole concept of this cassette really comes together with this song at the end.     Also, there is another song here at the end but I'll leave that as a surprise for you because you likely have to buy the cassette to hear it.  (I'll just say that it is Underground)

I wish more artists would take chances like this.   I know it isn't easy but I've always been a fan of the b-sides and acoustic versions of songs.   When it was popular, I remember buying this CD single of the song "Comedown" by Bush simply because it had an acoustic version on it as well.       I feel like however many years later this cassette should just prove that there is still a place for such songs in different versions.

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