Monday, August 29, 2022

Thirty Cassettes From Tetryon Tapes


I didn't post anything last week.  Part of it was I was tired and had a particularly rough week.  But part of it was also the fact that I wanted to get through a shit ton of tapes piling up over here.  Ugh, tapes.  I'm not always opposed.  Snappy Little Numbers and Big Neck have sent me some pretty rad tapes over the years.  But then there are times when you have too many tapes.  

This fellow from Buffalo has been sending me tapes for years via various labels.  A few good ones, and then some average and bad ones.  But it's just too many.  Recently he sent me a giant box full of tapes that I haven't wanted to listen to.  I'm blowing through all THIRTY of them in short, MMR style reviews.  I didn't like the vast majority of them, but there were a couple that were OK and one that was genuinely very good.  But my dude from Buffalo, do not send me any more tapes.  I'm not doing something like this again.

Utah Jazz - In Retrograde - Tetryon Tapes (2020)
This is loud, snotty garage rock.  Lots of yelling, not much singing.  The drummer is pretty solid and some of the guitar work is interesting, but the vocals just kill it for me.  They have at least two singers that I can identify and both yell a lot.  Not my scene.

Futuro - Os Segredos Do Espaço e Tempo - Tetryon Tapes (2020)
As far as the music goes, I don't mind this at all.  This band is from São Paulo, Brazil and they have gone after a kind of melodic punk that reminds me a little bit of The Estranged.  They've got good riffs, great drumming and the recording quality is strong, aside from the vocals.  Lots of weird echo that I don't think adds to things and in a comment likely to repeat itself a lot today, more yelling than I like.  I might just not be very punk rock.

Richard Hamilton - My Perfect World  - Tetryon Tapes (2020)
Hey, singing!  This is pretty nice in a Cars sort of way with some 50s pop thrown in for good measure.  The vocals are a little bit Warm Soda, with a hushed, almost whispered delivery at times, but these are really solid pop songs for the most part.  Pretty decent.

Ciggie & The Darts - Liquor, Leather, Denim & Darts - Tetryon Tapes (2020)
More garage rock style tunes.  The songs are solid and even kind of catchy at times.  There are parts that remind me of Supersuckers aside from the vocals, which are pretty bad.  I don't know why, but I can only picture them coming out of an animated anthropomorphic cartoon animal that's the comic relief part of a crew helping to fight crime or solve mysteries or something like that.

Cage Kicker -  Parasitic Future - Tetryon Tapes (2020)
OK, this is hardcore.  Very fast, very loud, completely unintelligible screamed vocals.  I have never liked this sort of thing and can't tell the difference between good hardcore and bad hardcore.

Erik Nervous - Bugs​!​! - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This one is all over the place.  There's some hardcore, some garage, some synth-pop and some Ween style weirdness.  I give Erik Nervous credit for being able to genre hop and pull off each of them pretty well, but I can't say I liked listening to any of it all that much.  It's weird, but I'm not sure it's weird in an interesting way or weird in a what the hell is going on sort of way.

Baby Tyler - Vol. 2 - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
More yelling.  This time over muted, robotic sounding guitars that have some sort of weird effects or compression on them.  I can't tell of the drums are drum machines or real drums.  They don't sound precise enough to be a drum machine, but the tone (do drums have tone? I don't know what to call it) sounds all metallic and odd.  I don't like this.

Flea Collar - A Hole is A Hole - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This sounds like a high school hardcore band who can't quite play fast enough to really get the hardcore sound they want so they're kind of more like a sleaze punk band.  Sounds like it was recorded on a boom box.  Next.

Evinspragg - Precognitive Dreams - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This is another one of those one person band sort of things.  Eric Mayer is credited with guitar, bass, drums, synth, vocals, engineering and photography.  I'm not sure which of those things is really his forte, but the songs are mainly weird synth driven things that are probably trying to sound a little bit like Devo or something kind of like that, but they're much darker and no fun at all.

Lotus Cookie Recipe - Cook Book - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This whole tape only has three songs and is three minutes long. They are an instrumental band playing a sort of sludgy metal sort of thing maybe?  The guitars sound like the second half of the Beck song "Asskizz Powergrudge (Payback! '94)."  I don't know how to write about something so short with so little going on.  This seems like too little music to warrant the plastic needed for a tape release.

Danny's Favorites - There Still Punk - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This one is pretty fun. It's got a bit of a power pop vibe to it (though kind of rough around the edges), there's a little surf influence and most importantly there's hooks!  Actual catchy choruses.  I don't love this, but it's a breath of fresh air after the last few tapes.  I would even go so far as to say maybe give this one a quick listen if you're checking out the Richard Hamilton record.

Spike Pit - 2 Heavy Metal 4 Punk - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
Judge this book by its cover.

The Shine - The Shine - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
OK, this one is flat out great.  If these guys put out another tape, I'm totally fine with it being sent to me.  This is 50s/60s style guitar pop.  Lots of energy, great hooks, solid vocal harmonies.  If the recording was a little bit better, I would think anyone that likes bands like The Resonars would be totally into this.  Legitimately a very fun tape.

Richard Hamilton - Kiss Touch 2000 - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
I'm writing about these in chronological orders starting with the oldest tape on the Tetryon Bandcamp page.  So that's why this one isn't next to the first Richard Hamilton tape.  Kind of more of the same.  Totally fine solo/band sort of stuff.  Still has that Cars vibe a bit, though in general maybe a little more mellow.  It's totally fine.

Richard Hamilton - Memory Palace - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
OK, this is probably too much Richard Hamilton for me at this point.  Had I heard them a little more spaced out, maybe it wouldn't seem like overkill, but at this point I'm ready to move on.  This one feels a little more lo-fi than the others for whatever reason.  More like 90s four-track tape label stuff.  Again, not bad, but I don't need three tapes by this guy.

Thee Hearses -  EP II - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This is weird robot synth.  It's fast and not boring, so that's good.  There's also a sci fi vibe that is interesting, but it ultimately ends up feeling like some band in an 80s movie that ends up getting eaten by a monster later in the film.

Woodstock '99 -  Woodstock '99 - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
I'm not sure what I expected from a band called Woodstock '99 where the tape cover is a picture of Fred Durst skateboarding.  But I definitely didn't expect to like it.  Run of the mill hardcore here.  Recording quality is better than most, but as I've said many times, I don't know how to judge hardcore.  Maybe this is great, maybe it's terrible.  My brain can't process it as anything other than noise.  I would say it makes me feel old, but I felt the same way in the 90s.

Found Drowned - Not Bad! - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
This is instrumental surf music.  Much like I just said about hardcore, I can't really tell if something is good surf music or bad surf music (unless someone is super obviously ultra-talented or particularly bad).  But unlike hardcore, I pretty much always like surf music.  It's easy to listen to, great for background music and essentially never makes me angry.  This is a discography tape, so there's really a bit too much on here to digest in one listen, even if the songs are all quite short, but in pieces it's a fun listen.

Spit Kink - Get It - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
My brain keeps reading the band name as Spin Kick instead of Spit Kink.  I think Spin Kick is a better name.  This is some electroclash stuff like I would have been annoyed by in the early 2000s.  It's noisy and full of synth and repetitive drum beats with fuzzed out robot vocals.  Not for me.

Space Danish & The Sewer Diamonds - Six Dungeons - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
I have no idea what this is supposed to be.  It's really slow, electronic, synth stuff that at times feels like a low budget sci fi soundtrack and at others a soundtrack for an 80s video game that was rejected for being too creepy.  There are vocals, but I don't know what they are saying.  They're more like spoken word, but have an odd gruffness to them.  Baffled by this one.

Werewolf Jones -  Terminal Velocity - Tetryon Tapes (2021)
I've actually written about this band before as Big Neck sent me a live tape of theirs a few months ago.  I didn't love it then and I don't love this one now.  It's that same thing where the vocals just don't have enough melody to them for me.  The guitar riffs are dark and sludgy and this feels slower than their previous cassette that I wrote about.  It's mostly one of those things where it's just not my cup of tea.

C​-​Krit - C​-​Krit - Tetryon Tapes (2022)
On the Bandcamp page it says "C-Krit is ???"  I couldn't agree more.  Lots of feedback.  Fast songs. Screaming vocals.  The sort of band that would start playing at a VFW hall and then you have the sudden urge to go find a soda machine or run to the car or take up smoking or whatever you can think of to go to another room for a bit.

No Fix - Neon Dreamz - Tetryon Tapes (2022)
The tape cover made me think it was going to be hardcore, but it's actually more in the garage rock world.  The vocals are a little snottier than I personally prefer, but the band is tight, the songs are constructed well and it's really not bad at all.

Touchhole - Touchhole demo - Tetryon Tapes (2022)
This is more experimental and noisy.  It's mostly drums and distorted vocals.  I'm sure there are people out there that dig this style, but it's not the sort of thing that really makes any sense to me.

Spooky Visions - Spooky Visions - Tetryon Tapes (2022)
I like the artwork on this a lot, so I was hopeful it would be spooky surf music or something like that.  This is more like Stranger Things sounding synth with electronically altered vocals speaking some sort of weird robot poetry.  Synth is a dirty word for me, so I'm probably not the real demographic for this.  Other's milage may vary.

Eyes and Flys -  Manic AM - Tetryon Tapes (2022)
High energy guitar riffage with totally blown out vocals.  More on the garage spectrum than anything else I can really compare it to.  They're playing fast and energetic without bleeding into hardcore, so I'll never knock that.  But it's the vocals that just don't do it for me.  Too much echo/feedback on them to really hear what's going on.

Nervous Tick and The Zipper Lips - Something's Gotta Bleed - Kafadan Kontak (2020)
I almost stopped after that last tape as it was the last one on the Tetryon Bandcamp page, but I decided to try to finish things up and tackle the rest of the tapes as well.  I've gone this far.  This one is fine I guess?  It's not overly yell-y or synthy.  The guitars have a nice sort of churning propulsion to them, but it's just not really the sort of thing I'm interested in.  I'm just the type that needs more of a hook.

Nervous Tick and The Zipper Lips & Ricky Hell - The Covid Collaborations: vol. II - Self Released (2020)
I was sent three of these Covid Collaborations tapes.  Volumes II, III & IV.  Not Volume I for some reason, but that's OK.  To quote the Bandcamp page so I don't have to find a way to rewrite this three times: "Each volume will feature Nervous Tick and The Zipper Lips and another recording artist. Both parties will record an original song, a cover of a song by the other party, as well as a song musically to have the other party finish with vocals and whatever else is needed."  So that's what we're getting into here.  The Nervous Tick songs sound like the stuff on their other tape.  It's solid musically, but not something that really appeals to me.  Ricky Hell is more synth that I don't find particularly exciting, but it's also not really bad.  The combo songs where they are singing over each others music is an interesting concept and the one with Ricky singing over the Nervous Tick music is probably the best song on here.

Nervous Tick and The Zipper Lips & Obsoletism - The Covid Collaborations: vol. III - Self Released (2021)
Here's volume II, this time with Obsoletism.  The Nervous Tick songs are more interesting to me this time out as they are a little catchier, but the vocals are still tough for me.  If they were a little smoother, I'd probably be more into it.  The Obsoletism songs are nice and catchy.  A little garage-y and little power poppy.  The vocals have something of a snarl to them, but it's not off putting the way some snotty punk singers come off.  For the combo songs the best one again is the one with the Nervous Ticks music and the Obsoletism singing.

Nervous Tick and The Zipper Lips & Eyes and Flys - The Covid Collaborations: vol. IV - Self Released (2022)
This is probably the least interesting of these Covid Collaborations.  I'm kind of at a loss on what to say at this point.  The Nervous Tick songs are pretty much the same as the others I've heard, but "Dulce Fulnente" decides to add in this excruciating high pitched noise during what I think is the chorus.  Pretty rough.  Since I didn't like the vocals on the Eyes and Flys tape, I wasn't surprised I didn't really like them on this collab tape either.  Again, this is just not my scene.

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