The Cassettes – Alright with the Days 7"

The Cassettes
Alright with the Days 7"

The Cassettes were formed as something of a side project by Shelby Cinca when he decided that he needed a change from his regular duties with the punkish rock band Frodus. Along with bassist Steve Kille of The Impossible Five and other members, he worked on The Cassettes as a mostly home recorded 4-track project. Apparently, these pop songs were just too good to keep to himself. Proving he knows how to infuse his Frodus energy into more pop-oriented rock songs, The Cassettes are a pop band that tosses indie rock and 60’s pop into one big bowl and licks off the spoon.
The bop-bop of the keyboards on “Alright with the Days,” coupled with Cinca’s slightly folky vocals make this track a pretty pop number with hints of reminiscence to the 60’s. The drums are passable if uninspired, but they’re secondary to the acoustic guitar, the keyboards and Cinca’s vocals. The song seems to pick up steam as it progresses, however, Kille’s bass getting more pronounced and carrying the rhythm, and Cinca’s voice gets muffled somewhat for another interesting effect. And the heavy guitar at the end is reminiscent of “We Are the Champions” Queen, bringing the song up even another notch.
It’s the perfect transition to the more rocking “You Can Figure Me Out” on the B side, a much more up-beat rocker driven by Cinca’s Neil Young-ish early grunge guitar and some stellar bass work. Here, Cinca’s vocals sound just as at home, singing perfectly to this poppy rock track. As much as you want to bob your head to the A side, you want to bounce to the B side. You don’t often hear quite as crunchy guitars on a pop song, but they work well here, both inspired and fitting to this, the stronger track on the single.
The Cassettes know exactly what they’re doing, and it’s clear they’ve been doing it for a while. This may be the first release from this band, but it clearly shows the members’ long musical expertise. And who can blame some musicians for wanting to take another direction in music, especially when they can pull it off so well. Rock-infused pop that can make you nod along and play air guitar at the same time has got to be something special.