Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Funny/Not Funny Cassettes

Funny/Not Funny Records is a Virginia based label who are a bit odd in the indie world. It's really local based, mostly supporting the bands of the area, thus leading to releases that are not so high profile. On the plus side, this in turn leads to discovery of some good stuff. Like the four cassettes they decided to send this way.

Matt Leech-Sink

What drew me to Matt Leech was his Minks meet Cloud Nothings style of music, like the wonderful "Empty Window". This tape sounds nothing like that. At all. This is the precursor to anything he is doing now. This is a tape full of banjo, and acoustic guitar, bursting of folky goodness. It definitely has a demo/4-track quality to it, something you'd find in an old moldy box of the abandoned house you decided to check out. A mix of slow burners and slightly more uptempo style, it's all very well done with a bit of Granddady to it all. The Microphones are also a bit of a unavoidable point of reference, especially with the drum work on "No Good" or depression of "Mind the Cabin Floor". There are worse things then being compared to such a great band though, and there is nothing by the number's about Leech's work.

John Hostetter-Red Square

John Hostetter is a song writer and sometimes member of Harlem. Here in song writer form Hostetter is pretty akin to Johnathan Richman, though that's a bit of a coup out. The songs are more fleshed out than anything Richman does and Hostetter tends to scatter from one genre to another. Note the '60s throwback riff of "Frankestin" only to skip to the late '80s collage rock that is "Medusa". However, a love of Spanish guitar does become very evident, especially on the B side. An all around good tape, though it needs to be said that Hostetter could have done without the very long and jammy interludes he placed between songs.

Andrew Cedermark/Drunk Tigers Split Tape

The cover art is perfect for this release; for the contrast between the the two bands is night and day. I've already spilled a lot of (virtual) ink over Andrew Cedermark as it is, and I am happy to spill more. Here are four more songs of Andrew's signature style of quiet to loud in a really unique way, layered in shoegaze riffs and with post Microphones influence, or maybe just straight Microphones love, thrown in as well. There's an isolation to the music that Cedermark manages to capture so well, even as the music starts to go bombastic around his words. Listen to "Lookin' for a Boswell" or "From Memory " for the best examples of this: it's actually quite beautiful. Drunk Tigers, on the other hand, are nothing like this at all. A bunch of kids from Charlottesvile , they walk the line between pop-punk and just plain punk. 5 punchy, actually quite catchy Replacement loving anthems are contained on their side. And loving the Replacements is always good in my book.

(mp3) Andrew Cedemark-Lookin' for a Boswell
(mp3) Andrew Cedermark-From Memory
(mp3) Drunk Tigers-Matchbook Tricks


Invisible Hand-Sinister Hand

Without a doubt Sinister Hand was the biggest surprise of the whole batch. I had heard "Top of the Pops" and "The Future of Music" , and while I did like them, there impression on me did not last very long. One pop of this cassette, though, made me a convert. There is a deep post-punk edge that runs through the band, but that is much too one-dimensional. There is the drum machine looopiness of "My Heart Beat is Making My Ears Ring", then they dive into Fugazi style fierceness or they let up to a catchy indie rock mood for something like "Death Bellows CSS" or Black Tie Formal". It's not unfocused, but more the band trying not to make just one certain style of music, which isn't something you hear a lot of these days. A happy accident to stumble on, and a band to keep track of without a doubt.

(mp3) Invisible Hand-Top of the Pops
(mp3) Invisible Hand-The Future of Music

All Cassettes can be obtained here, from Funny/Not Funny Records

No comments:

Post a Comment