The Cassettes – S/T

The Cassettes are led by Shelby Cinca who was formerly of the band Frodus and is joined by the rhythm section of Dead Meadow, along with Jennifer Potter on guitar/vocals/and keyboards. I was a fan of Frodus and had been looking forward to this release since I found out about it. This band shies away from the ominous music of Frodus and instead carries poppier melodies. Cinca’s vocals take on a sweetic melodious tone, while his guitar can throw out some dirty licks or play in a fuzzed-out manner. The songwriting is very poppy, while there is underlying grit and energy in all the performances.
“How Can It Be So Bad” starts the disc off as the first full song, which follows a quick intro that is very groove-based. Cinca’s vocals on this song are very sweet and mix nicely next to the guitar tracks that go from dirty to spacy and fuzzed-out. It has a rolling manner to it with some very strong drumming and Cinca’s different guitar style. “The Good Times” is a drowsy pop instrumental with Cinca humming over the top of the soundscape being layed down by the band. It just floats around with its captivating melody and unique guitar work by Cinca.
“The Sound” has a stronger crunching melody with more force to it than the other songs on this recording. There is a good psychadelic distorted guitar break in the middle that reminds me a little bit of the Screaming Trees. “Ghost In a Lost World” has Cinca being accompanied by guitars that repeat the same formula throughout the song. This style works well with the slight unforced vocals that lend a haunting feeling to the song. “Miracle of Birth” is a hazy little acoustic-driven piece with some overflowing moans and different keyboard effects, to end the disc.
Cinca and company have created a new direction, seperating themselves from their other bands. Cinca’s songs usually hit a groove and make thier progressions from that aspect. When everything hits its mark it is rather trance inducing and very captivating to hear what is unfolding. There are a few missteps here that tend to just stay a little stagnant and won’t catch the casual listener. This is a disc full of pleasant melodious songs worth a listen, but it doesn’t have anything mind blowingly incredible.