Cassette Review //
Gretchen Snakes
"Family Life"

$10 CAD //
Edition of 100 // //

Sharp electronics, almost like glitching, start this one off as there is this feeling of almost a scraping as well.    These sounds are somewhere between wind chimes and magic.  A louder synth drone comes in now, taking over the sound completely.   It gets a little wavy, a little bit winding, but it seems to stay the course as if launching us off into space.

A loud drop now, into some distorted void, and then the guitars come in with notes like fun rock music.    It feels like it could be punk, but also something like Tora Tora Torrence or The Lot Six.    The guitar riff just makes this song as the drive behind it just feels so cool.     This is just the wildest of the dark rock n roll right now.    I'm getting these Alice In Chains vibes even.

The pitch can change, but it loops on this guitar and it's just something that even the best of the bands with vocals can accomplish so hearing it with this guitar taking over for the vocals makes it that much better.    Things get distorted now, dropping off into the madness, as small twangs come through within it.   A classic rock vibe caught up in the chaos.    Once again though, we end up dropping even lower now.

This feels like we've gone into this place where we could be on "The Crow" soundtrack- just that level where it feels almost goth.    It's sort of along those lines of NIN but there's something else in here and it feels haunted, somewhat scary.   To think of it in contrast to how the guitar was working earlier as well just makes it that much impactful.   Having these songs stand alone is an accomplishment of themselves but considering the talent when grouped together is simply remarkable.

On the flip side we're in this dark space that makes me think a beat will come in and start off a song from NIN's "The Fragile".   This takes us into more melodic guitar notes, which are a less distorted version of Hendrix even though the strings seem to bend.   What I like about this cassette as well, as I think about Hendrix, is that while I've heard guitar-based music before this doesn't have a direct link to them so Gretchen Snakes seems to forging their own sound.

It can begin to drone now, with that sort of distorted sound, which makes me feel like Hendrix, which is a comparison the song has really grown into.    The notes just seem to ride up and down, distorted bombs dropping in a hollow, pale sky.    It's this echoing drone that just encompasses everything.    The notes pierce through now, cutting sharper than before.   Rocking chords now with the banging of the drums bring us into something like what we heard closer to the beginning of this cassette. 

The guitar is just ringing through now.   Scorching.    Static bombs drop.  The synth drones.   It feels like an error drone, but then you can also hear how this is actually guitar notes as they begin to slightly change.   It goes back to that distorted-ringing feeling like Hendrix though and it's just so full of melody.    By the end it just seems to cut off in one grand swoop. 


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