Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cassette Review:
Matthew As More
"Apocalypse Never"
(Personal Archives)

$5 //
Edition of 50 //  //

First off, I need to note that "Apocalypse Never" begins with those classic intro beeps and if you don't know what that means then you obviously weren't into cassettes when they first took the place of records.   I feel like every cassette should begin with these beeps but, sadly, even in the 1990's they were standard issue.    It's just one of those fun pieces of history that reminds me of simpler times.   Some people might remember when they would put those cases over a CD to keep it from being stolen so easily (one side looked like a handle) but don't remember they also had them for cassettes.  Ah, the good old days.  Takes me right back to K-Mart with my grandma.

Having those tones make me wax nostalgic is an interesting way to start this cassette as well because the music has an overall classic vibe to it.    While it can be described as psych rock there are elements of it which make me really believe Matthew As More would have fit right in at Woodstock.   I can also be reminded of Foo Fighters- their first album, which I had on cassette but it broke- but even that is old enough now isn't it?   Through distortion and sometimes horns to end a song comes hints of Primus, Butthole Surfers, Weezer somehow and of course David Bowie.   Matthew As More might also fit in with Lollapalooza but, you know, back when it was first started.  And yes, there are some other aspects of this music which make me think of something between Jane's Addiction and Porno For Pyros.

On Side A, for a brief moment, that song "I think I love you but what am I so afraid of" comes on.    It's almost like you would miss it if you weren't paying close enough attention.   This continues on Side B as when it opens it feels like we're just flipping through various radio stations, hearing bits of songs, some of which I know and some of which I don't.    One of the first I recognized was "Here"  by Alessia Cara because it's kind of my anthem still.   But I imagine this track on the cassette as being something created by a perfectionist.  If you have a song you're not completely satisfied with or perhaps just a hook for the chorus but nothing else to build around it, throw the fragment of it into here.   Some of these little bursts of songs could be by Matthew As More for all I know and it'd be smart if they were.

Matthew As More also asks the timeless questions (Pink Floyd) of "Is anybody out there? Is anybody home?"   Though one of my favorite songs lyrically has to be "Science Fiction Double Feature" because I'm into all of those movies.    And in that way, that song makes me think that the theme to this album is space somehow.   David Bowie seems to be a heavy influence so there's one point in favor of it.   Also, as I like to compare music with soundtracks I would put "Apocalypse Never" as being along the lines of "Guardians of the Galaxy".    After buying that soundtrack on CD I also bought the cassette, so Matthew As More is in good company.

Isn't it funny how we remember things?  I feel like music resets itself every so often- in terms of physical media- and I wasn't alive when cassettes first took over for records but I can imagine people owning Bob Dylan on vinyl and having to buy his cassette so they could listen to it in their car.   I just don't seem to recall a similar trend when CDs "took over" because I don't ever remember having a cassette that I ended up buying on CD as well.  It didn't feel needed.  I'll always remember some guy saying of cassettes that he'd buy two copies of an album: a record for his home stereo and a cassette for his car.   But the cassette and CD can both do home stereo and car. 

In that sense, I listen to cassettes and think "This could be something straight out of the 1980's or 1990's, back when cassettes were first making their mark", you know, when I was growing up.   But Matthew As More takes me to a different place- an uncharted grounds.  I imagine "Apocalypse Never" as being one of those albums released on vinyl that you would ultimately also buy on cassette when the new technology presented itself.   But is it one of those bands who never had an official cassette release (stopped making music in the 1980's) or someone like David Bowie who carried over into even the age of CDs?  Only time will tell, but I am hopeful for Matthew As More.

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