Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cassette Review //
Unwed Sailor
"Heavy Age"


$10 //
Edition of 100 //
https://unwedsailor.bandcamp.com/album/heavy-age //

Back when I was writing about music before I started what would become Raised by Cassettes, a press person somewhere sent me a CD version of "The White Ox".   It was my first introduction to Unwed Sailor and here, all these years later, I feel like things have come full circle in a way as I am listening to the newest full length album of music by Unwed Sailor on cassette.  It kind of makes me wish The Robot Ate Me would put out a new album on cassette as well.

"Heavy Age" begins with these upbeat, steady rocking sounds which could be post rock if they were calmer, they could even be somewhat post punk, but they all around just rock.   It's somewhere between "My Sharona" and dark acoustics as it feels like it wants to sing but remains instrumental.     An uplifting feel, like The Hold Steady, takes us into a song which has that sense of The Cure only also maybe like when Anberlin covered them.   Though instrumental, this is perhaps more powerful than anything with vocals since the songs have clearly defined verses/choruses/structure.

We're onto this wild ride of notes now and one of the other aspects which I really enjoy about this cassette, about the sound which Unwed Sailor creates here, is that if you took this music and thought of adding anyone you could possibly think of as vocals to it (And, trust me, I've heard *a lot* of people sing) then you could say "Oh, it's like ____ without the vocals"... but I can't quite figure that out.   There is no comparison for this with vocals really because it just jumps around these post- categories, never settling and never letting up.

The titular song just blisters through and it reminds me of how bands can kind of create their own sound, their own genres, even just based on the names of their songs.   To some extent, I feel like this along those harder rock lines of Marriage + Cancer or Recover, but then there is something dreamy, even blissed out, within the structures as well.   As much as it makes me want to headbang, it's also a bit trippy.   There is a little of that 90210 thing going on in here also.

Bass lines really take over now and then the guitar notes come crashing in.   At times you can feel the percussion the heaviest, but then at other times everything just feels so heavy it begins to make you question what really is heavy when it all feels so heavy.    What would be "Jealous Heart" has this "Voices Carry" type of thing going on for it.     The bass can make it feel like an emergency situation as well.    This kicks in and keeps that heavy/trippy theme amongst the songs alive.

A rhythm forms to where I want to start shaking it and then that song comes to an end.    We get into a song next which has that 1980's new wave vibe, along the lines of something like Duran Duran.   In that way though it could also be from a movie of that era, some kind of buddy cop movie-- and I'm not sure why but "Kuffs" always comes to mind for me. 

On the flip side we begin with a quieter, organ drone feel and it's a lot more minimal, calmer.    And then it becomes that crazy new wave/darkwave music we found on the first side of the cassette.   The notes really flow through and that seems to be the story of these songs in a lot of ways, as they seem to craft the words that you would sing if this had words but if it had words I also think it might be too much.

A driving force comes into the next song and it just has that way about it where you want to be on the open road, in the dark, with it blasting out of your car speakers, but at the same time the song itself just seems to be moving at such speeds.     A signal is coming through now, i screeching transmission like a modem which finds some dark drums and bass.   As the song seems to find its groove you can't help but get into it.    With these supersonic feels, by the end of this cassette you're just going to feel like you've taken off into space.












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