In the years that I've been writing about and really just listening to cassettes there have always been two aspects of cassettes that have thrown me off: When a side is rewound and there are no markers on either side I always assume that is Side A but it isn't always and also if something is not rewound to the beginning it throws me off as well. "Homebaked Methblack Magick" was not rewound to the beginning so I did so on what was said to be Side A.
The first music I heard was that of an opera. I thought to myself that maybe they just dubbed over the opera and as such the actual songs would kick in soon. Then I began to think, after a song or two (There was applause inbetween songs, as if the opera was a live recording) that maybe Pisswater Preachers were an opera act and I didn't know how to feel about that. I'm never one to lie or pretend to know about something which I don't know about so I will say straight up: I know nothing about opera or classical music really. I suppose I always thought I'd listen to and learn about that type of music in my later years.
Now I did hit pause on this cassette so I could press play on the Bandcamp to see if Pisswater Preachers were really opera and they are not. So I was wondering if maybe all the songs were hidden on Side B and I rode this opera thing out because when you review music that's what you do. Then, all of a sudden this loud dark rock n roll sound comes flying into the scene. It's odd because it turns into this gritty, screamy, almost what I want to call metal folk-- like Tom Waits is stuck in Hell and singing songs written by The Devil himself. There are harmonicas and stomping but it just also could throw down with the best of them.
What gets me most about this is that it's not that this opera cassette was dubbed over. Pieces of the opera remain within the Pisswater Preachers songs and they actually fit quite nicely. When the Pisswater Preachers songs come to a close, the opera continues to take over. It's kind of like the Pisswater Preachers crashed a party but somehow managed to get along with the opera rather than overtaking it. And, yeah, I figured out this was more likely Side B than A because the last song I heard said "Motherfucking fuck a scientist! Stone 'em!" which would be the final song on this cassette called "Fuck A Scientist".
The other thing that I like about this cassette- and you have to give those props to Crass Lips Records- is that while this was the outcome of my cassette (the sides are mislabeled, lots of opera), perhaps the cassette you receive might not have the opera on it. Or maybe the sides will be labeled correctly. I don't know, but in the sense that this is a way of sort of fucking with people in an Andy Kaufman sense, I'm definitely down for it. I can just imagine a reviewer listening to the first five minutes of this and simply writing it off as opera. That would actually make said "music journalist" look rather foolish.
When I press play on Side B it is really the start of this album, which kind of gives you the idea of what this album could sound like with the title "Pensacola Stomp". It's got these bits of opera sliced into it still (I'm not sure whether that's on the digital or not, but I'm assuming it's not... I'm just too scared to find out because I feel like it might take something away from the experience with the cassette. Though I could just as easily imagine this being dubbed with something else and sounding just as appealing) There is also a song that says "White people should not breathe and I am inclined to agree with that. Too many white people ruining everything.
Sometimes these harmonia-laced songs that could come from a swamp somewhere have these sounds that come in. It's almost as if they left that applause from the opera in, but at the same time it sounds like it could be something else entirely-- like a bucket full of bolts being slowly emptied. There is definitely that sound though where you'd think this would have a washboard and I checked the credits and there doesn't appear to be one so maybe next time? I dig the trumpet though, it gives it this unique approach to a combination of different sounds and I'm just left floored by it.
There is something definitely evil about this version of "Froggy Went'a Courtin" and I think, despite what I said about opera before (And I know it's not an opera song but it's the sentiment) that this is a song everyone should be familiar with, right? Like "Mary Had A Little Lamb"? So if you listen to this version of "Froggy Went'a Courtin" I think you'll get a pretty good idea as to what Pisswater Preachers is bringing to the table. I'm still not entirely sure what is going on with this music but it is not meant to be understood; it is meant to be enjoyed.
$5 (probably) //