Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cassette Review:
Graham Repulski
"Permission To Love"

"Permission To Love" would be my third Graham Repulski cassette and it is even more of his unique blend of fuzzy rock.   When I write about music, I try to use the most general comparisons that I can so people will be able to understand them and not go "Who?".  If I say an artist reminds me of some artist you might have never heard of then what's the point, right?  But as I listen to this cassette and think about the songs on it, I think of Graham Repulski as someone who could have been on that famous "No Alternative" compilation back in the 1990's. 

Remember Soul Asylum, Matthew Sweet, Smashing Pumpkins, Buffalo Tom and that hidden Nirvana song?   Yet somehow, I feel like that compilation went overlooked so if you've never heard it before get on it now.   But along with those staples of what I like to think of as the Mtv years, there is some definite Bowie in here.   Remember that song Bowie did with Queen?   Yeah, "Under Pressure".   It was in the movie "World's Greatest Dad" and that one where Zach Galifinakis goes into a mental hospital or whatever.   I hear some of those ideas in here as well.

Jarbled (Is that a word?) vocals fall over trippy Flaming Lips type of psych rock while it can also become clanky.    The darkness on the final song on Side A has this radio feel that I can't place but I don't want to place it either because it might go into something like The Verve Pipe yet for some reason all I can think of is Shinedown which I hope is so, so wrong.   There are elements of loud rock as well, such as the "Big Bang Baby" era of Stone Temple Pilots.

On the flip side we begin with more of a mess than a song.   It's a sea of noise followed by a shorter song with more structure that ends with a nuclear blast.   The last song is heavily distorted with higher vocals and while I feel like Graham Repulski could just as easily be a part of that fuzzy garage/bedroom pop/rock scene currently, this music holds just as much value to me as a teenager in the 1990's listening to grunge and what came after that.    Any time an artist can touch on something such as that, any time they are able to combine such respected genres, well, you know you're listening to something special. 

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