Friday, January 19, 2018

Cassette Review: Tommy Bell "Turkish Delight" (I Heart Noise)


When I was a kid, I feel like I heard a lot about Turkish Delight because it is some form of British candy, is it not?  I mean, the name "Turkish" would imply it's from Turkey, but I feel like watching the old "Chronicles of Narnia" cartoon as a kid, one of the main kids was kidnapped because he was tempted by Turkish Delight.  Is this something that actually happened or just another fever dream of mine?

In any case, this music doesn't really sound British (much like the label, I believe it is from Boston) and when I look at Discogs it says this was originally released on vinyl and CD back in 1996.   So twenty years later and it's back again courtesy of I Heart Noise.   Why bring it back?  Why not?  I'd rather hear something great I didn't know about twenty years ago than something modern and terrible.

Twenty years is a long time.  Twenty years ago I would've been sixteen.   The thing is, back then, music wasn't what it is now in terms of the internet so even though I was living in Connecticut and this was in Boston it makes sense as to why I hadn't heard about it until now.  It wasn't until the later 1990's and early '00's before I started really hearing about music outside of Mtv.   Well, aside from punk rock, but that's another story.

When this cassette begins it is loud and melodic.   Big, crunchy guitars make me think of Trail of Dead and Metz, which makes me believe it would fit in just as well now as it should have back in the mid-90's.    Rock n roll notes blare through as the radio changes stations.   The energy takes on a new level during the song "Spin", which is fairly experimental in terms of rock n roll and declares that the singer would rather be a spinstress. 

Trading back and forth on male and female lead vocals (and sometimes singing together), "Living For Today" comes out in this sound like The Replacements while "Sister Meringue" has a more straight forward rock sound.    "Blue Wing", however, has a definite blues sound combined with that of Black Sabbath and as we go on from there I hear some definite Jimmy Eat World coming out with the highs and lows and just general wild pace of it as well.

Through Side B of "Turkish Delight" the female vocals seem to have taken full control.   Grunge mixed with psych has enough energy to grab you by the balls and be a soundtrack from the 1990's like "10 Things I Hate About You", "Angus" or "Empire Records".   There is a bit of Cheap Trick before "Try Harder" comes on and it goes to a seemingly darker place where I can hear elements of Delta Dart.    We mellow out in an almost Lynyrd Skynyrd sounding song (but it turns into something much different) but then return back to the fog with heavy, metal (note the comma) sludge number. 



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