Monday, January 4, 2016

3 Cassettes - Dudes, Cruelster & The Hamiltones


More Power Tapes (2015)

I've said before that I don't get a lot of records sent to me to review. The vast majority of what I write are records I buy myself however I do get the occasional record sent to me and that's always fun.  Every vinyl record that anyone ever sends me will always get reviewed.  Always.  I'm less excited about tapes, but I tend to get more tapes sent to me than records for some reason.  It's probably due to the difference in cost in sending out a review copy, even though it's pretty much a lock that if you send me a tape I'll almost always write in the review that I really don't like cassettes (or tapes).

I've fallen a bit behind on these, mostly because the folks at the label More Power Tapes decided to send me this freaking gigantic pile of cassettes over the course of a few days several months ago.  It's been a daunting pile to look at, but I'm going to do my best to go through as many as I can.  I'll start with three for today.

Dudes - Ultra Vague - I decided to write these up in something of the order they appear on the label's Bandcamp page.  I can't say I was super looking forward to this based on the artwork.  It looks like the sort of crummy demo that a high school band would release.  Still, I was somewhat optimistic when the first guitar riff kicked in on "Dudes Just Wanna Have Some Fun."  That quickly faded when the vocals kicked in.  There's far to much yelling on this tape for my tastes.  To me, this is just kind of generic punk rock.

Dudes - Ultra Vague:

Cruelster - First Demo 2006 - Even though their tape is called First Demo 2006, there is a little note saying it was actually written and recorded in February of 2015.  That's not as good of a joke as Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats album only having ten songs on it.  This is a different strain of punk rock than Dudes.  There's yelling, but not as much of it.  The guitars are quieter and this is very much built on the rhythms of the bass guitar and some sort of end of song freak out.  Again, I wouldn't say this is particularly inspired and it's not really the sort of thing I'd listen to.

Cruelster - First Demo 2006:

The Hamiltones - S/T - Last up for today is The Hamiltones with their self titled cassette.  I'm not sure why, but I had higher hopes for this one than I did for the other two.  Some of it was the artwork being less silly looking and part of it was the fact that I kind of dig the name.  I try not to judge books and covers and all that, but sometimes I do end up being right.  Turns out that The Hamiltones are a pretty fun instrumental surf band.  They definitely have a Hex Dispenser-ish haunted house sort of vibe to them, but I can definitely get into a spooky sounding surf band. There's only six songs and two of them are under thirty seconds long, plus one of the remaining four is a cover of the Batman TV show theme.  I actually wouldn't have minded this being a little long.  Far and away the best of the three I've written about today.

The Hamiltones - S/T:

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