Cassette Review //
The Illiterates
(Poop Stick Records) //

I never know what music is going to do to me when I hear it and that's one of the things I like about it.    Listening to this cassette by The Illiterates took me back to some place I haven't been in quite some time.  It was the dawn of the internet and there were no rules yet so a file sharing company took to the world wide web under the name of Napster.  Yes, I used to try and discover new music on Napster by searching for cover songs.  I'd search for something like "punk cover" and see what came up.

This, somehow, took me to a song by a band called the Emotional Fartz, which was a cover of a Richard Marx song.   Somehow this cassette reminds me not just of that song but of all of those raw, unfiltered type of punk rock songs I heard back then.   It's not something that can easily be explained, but times were different back then.   Recording wasn't what it is now.  You could have such better quality creating a song now with your phone and back then, well, I didn't even have a cell phone.

At its punk rock core, this is the perfect type of music to experience on cassette, as I imagine it being sold at shows when CDs were too expensive or we just didn't have the means to duplicate them yet.    Hints of early Epitaph band (like the first few Punk-O-Ramas), early versions of songs by The Offspring and even some Lookout Records bands come to mind here.   It's somewhere between The Mr T Experience and Operation Ivy, but not exactly like either of those bands.

Though there is a slower, ballad type of song at the end, this has that punk quality that so many bands seem to lack these days.   It's not about being the best quality in terms of sound and in some ways I feel like this goes against the norm in that way, in the way that punk rock would have wanted to, because it does somewhat bother me when an album wants to be punk but has this polished studio quality sound to it.    Play this one loud and experience punk rock the way it was meant to be.


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