Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cassette Review: Hey Exit "Slow Names 4: The Bitter Scent of Light"

Recently I took a break from writing.   I took a break from life.   I suppose you could call it a "vacation" of sorts, but then again you and I might have different views of what a "vacation" is because I wasn't off having fun or spending time with people I like.   No, my story is for another day, but the time that this site spent in silence was a nice way to sort of reset a lot of what has already been done.    To that extent, I am no longer counting how many cassettes I have reviewed by Hey Exit, I am simply listening to this one as if it is the first time.

In the time that I've held onto this cassette it has since sold out on the Hey Exit Bandcamp.    You could blame me if you're reading this and wanted a cassette for not being more timely in my review, but I could throw those words right back at you because it's not like I haven't been doing everything in my control these past few years to scream "Listen to Hey Exit" at you.

The things that I've always enjoyed about Hey Exit are on this cassette and I think the true test of an artist is how well they maintain over time.    Songs that feel like songs but fragments at the same time, generated by guitar rattles and riffs that are somewhere between that abandoned planet sci-fi feel (For some reason it makes me think of old sci-fi movies like "The Phantom Planet", but not that band) and they just have this intensity, this feel of being rather serious-- stern.

But what I mean by holding up over time is relevant on different levels.   First off, you want to be able to listen to music right now, as it is being heard by your ears for the first time, and then again years from now and not grow tired of it.    At the same time, you also want to be able to hear something from an artist and not think "Oh, this again".   I always like to imagine someone who plays a tuba and bangs a snare drum.   Sure, it might be good for one cassette worth of music, but how many cassettes do you listen to before it gets tiresome?

I have this bad habit- and as someone who writes about music I shouldn't have it- where I listen to an artist, find what I believe to be their best work and then don't listen to anything they put out after that.    I could name at least a half dozen bands who I have done that with and it is one of those things I'm almost ashamed to admit-- some of my favorite bands seem frozen in time, my unwillingness to listen to their new offerings.

Through a lot of physical pain, I have found myself stretching.   Striking a pose and holding it in hopes of healing my neck or wrist.    Through emotional pain, I have found myself reflecting a lot.   Trying to rid myself of my past and focus on what needs to be done moving forward.    I can't change yesterday but I can make tomorrow better, right?   Whether you consider these to be attributes of "yoga" (which I do not) or meditation (which I also do not), the fact remains I can listen to Hey Exit at these peaceful times.     This is a realization I have now that I suppose I have always found comfort in this music so I will continue to cling to it, like a pile of blankets on a cold winter night.

While this cassette is sold out it can be streamed for free and/or downloaded for $2 by clicking here.

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