Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cassette Review:
Saxsquatch & Bridge Band
(Personal Archives)

$5 //
Edition of 50 //
https://personalarchives.bandcamp.com/album/apogee //

At some point, I feel like people learn a decent amount of information about me from these reviews.   Like how in fifth grade I started playing alto sax and by high school I had moved up to baritone sax.  I wish I had kept up with it after high school because of what I hear artists doing now, but back then my options were limited to ska bands so I bailed.    Hearing Saxsquatch makes me wish I had stuck with the sax, however even if I did I can assure you I would not have been able to create music like this.  Along with Saxsquatch is the Bridge Band (drums, bass and guitar) and there is no way I could have pulled off songs like these.

Right away this has a darker feel to it which makes me think of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page".    It gets closer to a jazz sound and then can also begin to sound somewhere between hold music and the type of muzak I feel like I heard over the speakers in K-Mart back in the 1990's (but in the best possible way).   This goes into more of organ tones (Which are not credited so I feel like it is an audio illusion) and it has me thinking of that gospel feel like when The Gadjits stopped being ska. 

The songs are primarily instrumental, which is good because when you hear them you'll realize that it's just a matter of the sax doing the talking, but there are three different spots where there is singing which doesn't feel out of place and seems to go with the flow of seeing this performed in some dimly lit night club filled with smoke and maybe not on the best side of town. 

I almost feel like it's a hidden song but Bandcamp calls it the coda and either way it's interesting because the song "Way Up" is originally by Son Drop and you can find all of their music on Bandcamp to download for basically whatever price you want (and you should), so that little hidden gem at the end of the cassette will hopefully not have this seen as an ending but rather a bridge to more music.    It also happens to be Saxsquatch's old band [Aren't Google Sites a wonderful thing?]

Perhaps my favorite part of this cassette is that for the most part it lets the sax do the talking.   You could think of a standard band with the drums, bass and guitar and then replace the singer with the sax and you'd kind of have an idea of what's going on here.  I mean, on paper it sounds accurate and after you hear this you'll go "Yeah, that does make sense" but before you listen to it the concept just doesn't quite do it justice and, well, if you're not into these jazz cassettes yet you will be.

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