Saturday, March 17, 2018

Cassette Review: Heavy Habit "Heavy Habit" (dubbed tapes)

Sold Out //
Edition of 40 // //

This cassette is divided into two different live sets and even though the j-card has song titles it's nice to think of these as being improvised and unique moments captured in time, but hey, even if they are songs you could find somewhere else by Heavy Habit they still have that special quality of being live.   Feedback comes through and then drums follow.   There are quite a few cymbal crashes and then big bass comes out, almost like metal. (Think "Boris the Spider")  The drumming seems to become tribal and as Heavy Habit pause for applause there is one particularly loud person shouting things and, well, if I was them I would do the same thing I suppose.

Big drumming and distant singing brings out the wilder side of this rock music which you could call by a number of different names: outsider, weirdo, art, etc.    As the cymbals continue to crash, this sound comes out that I can't quite place but it's kind of like demons trapped somewhere mixed with scratching a record.  I'm not sure but it adds an interesting aspect to the sound.   I actually looked up Heavy Habit on Discogs and they are a duo.  So you have to imagine one person using things I don't know much about to create "noise" (which is a term I use broadly) and the other is drumming along to it.

As the sound changes to more of a destruction based feel, yelling can be heard and it's just got this feeling of... it's something that if you're seeing live and Heavy Habit is opening for an artist you came to see and you might not be familiar with them, this could make you rather uncomfortable.    And that's not a bad thing because music should bring out emotion in you no matter what emotion it is.  Sometimes music can have that power of fear and I think that should be utilized more often, especially in a live setting.   (I've only really ever been afraid of one band in my life and I saw this other band who tried to be scary but was just comical, but alas, stories for my memoir not here)

I'd feel badly if I didn't mention that at times this has qualities similar to that of Nirvana's "Bleach" album but maybe even more directly the song "Love Buzz".   At one point, I felt like I heard someone in the crowd talking during one of the songs and now whenever someone says something I can't tell if it's part of the show or not- though there are some distinct singing moments- but that just adds to the overall factor of it being live and that differing from if these songs were recorded in a studio (or living room).

I've also come to notice that when a particular piece of music isn't long enough to fill a cassette, Dubbed Tapes seems to put this sound of outside someone's window with cars and sirens on to fill the rest of it so that the original source doesn't come through.    I suppose it is better to hide the original source and for that matter not just leave dead air.

On the flip side (Which is the Heavy Habit side, as I listened to this how it was rewound) there are people talking before the vocals come in and resonate in waves which can become distorted and deeper.   It's interesting how the vocals are manipulated here with the drums and how so much of this influence could be from the psych rock of the 1970's with a modern touch of course.   I checked with the digital on Bandcamp though and am listening to the correct sides.   The one labeled "Heavy Habit" is indeed Side B.

Distorted, fast paced bass comes through with drums in this punk style before things slow down and the bass takes over in a bit more of a Weezer "Only In Dreams" way.   It speeds up a little bit though before the vocals come back.    This becomes a grinding sound.   The drums remain consistent throughout this entire cassette and that really cannot be stressed enough.    If nothing else, you should take away from this cassette the big bass sound, distorted feedback and impeccable drumming, which combined are quite the threat to any live performance.

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