Tapes of Wrath: The Cassette Review Column

Garage rock, doom, sludge, acid-rock, grind...whatever your taste in left-field noise, we've something you might enjoy.

Electric Street Queens - Live From Your Dreams

From Boston but really from the overwrought libido of a perpetual 14 year old cruising the mall for action, Electric Street Queens are a warped supergroup wherein various members of various bad-ass garage bands (Fagettes, Born Bad) all switch instruments. To the ones they don’t actually know how to play. The end result is rock n’ roll stripped down to nothing but body fluids and knuckles. It’s a war-whooping clutch of woozy, oozy bad-girl jammers that’s sorta like The Shaggs jamming with The Germs. Most of the songs are about puking. One of ‘em’s about divorce, although there’s vomiting in that one, too. On a pink tape, naturally, packaged like a cassingle from 1989.


Hungers - Hungers

A very satisfying clutch of groovy black/doom world-enders from Portland (West Coast version). Basically it’s like Fudge Tunnel on three cups of coffee, but there’s something very loose-limbed and joyous about this tape, despite the witch-hiss and the dystopian worldview. I mean, Hungers probably don’t want you to dance to their jams, but fuck them, it’s your cassette, do whatever you want. Buy this and fuckin’ bug out, man. On an all-black cassette, as it should be.

PS They have a smokin’ new EP out as well, but that’s on vinyl and therefore not my department.


Slippertails - There’s a Disturbing Trend

Man, you don’t hear singers like Nick Casertano too often. Well, you did in 1991, but not lately. Holy smokes, he’s got an amazing delivery. Hazy, apathetic, and post-grunge, Casertano makes rock n’ roll sound like a total fuckin’ bummer to have to deal with. The rest of Slippertail do their best to keep up with him, stabbing the songs with punchy, sludgy, Flipper-esque drug-boner jammery loaded with tasty hooks. The whole thing really swings and manages to sound radio-friendly and anti-mersh at the same time. It’s like if the Stone Temple Pilots were a bunch of glue-sniffers that worked at the 7-11 down the street and recorded on a boombox on the weekends.


The Thin Bloods - Twin Tumors Vol 2

Acid-dipped jitter-rock from the high desert. The shaky vox are the hook here – dude sounds like he’s in the corner of a basement, getting poked by sticks the whole time. The songs are catchy lite-psych in the Lips/Dandies vein, easy goin’ down and inherently with it. Personal pick-to-click is the epic closer, an eight-minute bummer-psych pocket symphony about a druggy girlfriend (and VCRs). Great record. Makes you want to cut the sleeves off a denim jacket and eat ice cream in the sun.


Self Surgery - Death Porn

Ear-grinding noiseniks from Cincinnati bashing out one 26 minute-long monolithic track of unbridled, feedback-caked chaos. Sounds like the drummer is beating the keyboard player to death and vice versa. Sure to clear out any room instantly. Best part? “Written and recorded at Pizza Palace”. Imagine sitting there, trying to enjoy a nice slice of mushroom and pepperoni, while these assholes destroy their equipment ten feet away. What an awesome day that must have been. Holy smokes, I love rock n’ roll.


Ken McIntyre

Classic Rock contributor since 2003. Twenty Five years in music industry (40 if you count teenage xerox fanzines). Bylines for Metal Hammer, Decibel. AOR, Hitlist, Carbon 14, The Noise, Boston Phoenix, and spurious publications of increasing obscurity. Award-winning television producer, radio host, and podcaster. Voted “Best Rock Critic” in Boston twice. Last time was 2002, but still. Has been in over four music videos. True story.