Thursday, June 5, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: People in Cars “Live on H Street” (Bob Records)

            This cassette is split into four live songs on the first side and two studio songs on the second side.   Of these six songs, only one of them repeats and it is called “Bette Midler”, as it appears on both the live and studio versions of the cassette.

            People in Cars are a guitar based rock funk outfit that is primarily instrumental (The first of the two studio songs has vocals) and they cross so many genres I feel like they need to be scolded, yet somehow they manage to make it work.   One of the first things I heard coming out was math rock, as it has that complex feel to it, but there is also this chomping bass and dreamy guitar riffs.  On many levels, the first song reminded me a lot of “Beverly Hills 90210”.

            After that though, the guitar work just shines like nothing else.  I begin to hear things from Santana to Kings of Leon, but mainly just the all around spectacular guitar playing.   The song “Bette Midler” has this funky bass riff that I’m not sure if it’s somewhere between “Higher Ground” or walking the dinosaur. 

            As much as I heard the math rock to begin this cassette, it quickly went into some older influences of what would be that funky guitar based classic rock that could even stretch so far as something like George Clinton.   It is definitely refreshing to see a band so focused on the guitar playing, and obviously whoever is playing here has some real talent, 

            This is just another fine example of how music can be instrumental because the guitar seemingly does all the work.   And in the way that cassettes were introduced in the 1980’s and dominated most of the 1990’s, yeah, this is the perfect way to experience this music because it’s too modern for vinyl but a tip of the hat enough for it to precede the compact disc.  

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