Monday, May 7, 2018

Cassette Review:
building castles out of matchsticks
"Your Skin, My Mask"
(Histamine Tapes)

$7 //
Edition of 30 // //

This begins with an ambient FNL vibe.   Reverberating guitar notes give this a post rock feel.   As the notes come through more, they are also manipulated in a frequency manner.    More somber now on the second track, this is minimal in ways and also has the feeling of the soundtrack to an independent movie where the main character has some great realization.   By the third track this picks back up to where the first track was but they all seem to share these same majestic tones which make me feel like I am walking on clouds.

It can whirr as if we are all alone on a long stretch of highway.    There are some screams and footsteps heard now.   This leads into singing a few lines: "Don't think you cannot see me" which have an eerie feel to them.    This turns into something quieter, which builds and the static comes through choppy.   There are definitely haunted sounds in the background and for the first time this cassette is giving off that horror vibe I read about.  Certain tones make this sound like it's in space, but the crackling static sounds like someone is about to get stabbed.

Dark whirrs seemingly trail off as guitar notes provide the scary now.    This remains with that FNL feel which is kind of strange because you have to imagine a soundtrack to such a movie but then also have it being scary.  Imagine if they made the movie "Friday Night Lights" but the kids were zombies.   Or imagine the kids were being terrorized by Jason Voorhees.   In a perfect world, you'd take each of the characters and have them brutually slaughtered by a different horror villain.   That would be a comic book I would love to read (Please?)

On the flip side now we have some warmer electronics which make me feel like we're going into a song by The Who.   This is overtaken by a dense cloud of fog.   Tones are back and forth now.   Whispers are kind of sneaking through the static and now it has a higher pitched sharpness with whirr frequencies which can sound like an angelic choir singing at first.   This has a definite horror feel to it now-- it is an intensity.    This takes a turn into atmospheric where it feels as if we are lost in space and nothing good can come from it.   Not for us anyway. 

Darker tones come through now.   This has a telling vibe to it, like "JAWS" you can feel the music move through the water, ready to strike at any moment.   This brings out electronics which can come through as beeps and frequencies and though they have this certain feel to them (like something out of the 1980's) they still have that hollow breathing behind them and as such can imply just as much horror as we've heard up until this point.   Singing comes out once again through the whirrs and it's just as haunted as that old woman in that Metallica video that still gives me nightmares.

The singing does seem to go along with the last time we heard singing, as it is along the same lines.    This drops us off into a pool of laser whirrs and seemingly haunted moans.   Those ambient guitar notes return as if the cast of FNL is in danger once again, but you know, not football danger.  The synth drone feel comes through a bit more choppy by the end but it has this overall feeling of something which on the surface is supposed to be relaxing because it's ambient drone but if you're really paying attention it can be quite horrifying.

This cassette has song titles and the themes of each song is based on a horror movie.  Some are more easily recognized like the first song "Pennywise drone" is not about the Epitaph band but rather the clown from "IT" and, well, "Christine" just speaks for itself.   Mentions of Patrick Bateman should be easy enough so should "Norman, I Think Your Mother is Calling", though not everyone might be able to figure out all of these titles unless they are true horror fans in a sense.  "Loomis", for example, is something you might either know or you don't know while "Crystal Lake" feels a little bit more obvious but that's up to you.  I'd love to see a horror series theme come out in more music and if building castles out of matchsticks was so inclined a cassette dedicated to the works of Alfred Hitchcock could also be right on.

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